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i THE POETICAL WORKS 



JOHN KEATS 



John Keats was horn in London, jypSf ^^^ '" Rome, 1821. His 
juvenile verses , pp. )-62 of this edition, were publisfxd in j8ij, his 
second volttme, the Endymion, pp. 6j-jyy, in 181 8, and his third, 
containing Lamia, Isabella, Hyperion, the Eve of St. Agnes, indeed, the 
greater part of his best work, pp, i8i-2j6, in 1820. 



THE POETICAL IVORKS OF 



JOHN KEA TS 



EDITED Br 



WILLIAM T. ARNOLD 




» » 'J ■» 



LONDON 
KEG AN PAUL, TRENCH, <&• CO., I PATERNOSTER SQUARE 

MDCCCLXXXIin 






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CONTENTS 

THE VOLUME OF j8iy "^^ 

To Lbigh ffUNT^ Esq. 3 

I STOOD Tip-TOB UPON A LtTTLB Hill, ... 5 
Spbcimen of an Induction to a Pobm . . .12 

Caudors 14 

To SOMB Ladies 19 

ONRBCBIVING a curious SHBLL^ and a copy op VBRSSSf 

PROM THB SAMB LaDIBS 20 

7b • • • • 22 

To Hope 24 

Imitation op Spenser 26 

Woman! when i behold thee puppant^ vain . 28 

EPISTLES 

Tb George Felton Mathew 30 

To my Brother George 33 

TO Charles Cowdbn Clarke 38 

SONNETS 

To my Brother George 42 

7b ♦ ♦ • • 43 

Written on the Day that Mr. Leigh Hunt lbpt 

Prison 43 

How many Bards gild the lapses op T^mb . 44 

To A Friend who sent me some Roses ... 44 

To G. A. W. 45 

O Solitude ! ip i must with thee dwell . . 45 

To MY Brothers 46 



VI 



CONTENl^S 



THE VOLUME OF iSij-^onHnued 

Kben^ fitful Gusts ars whispering hers and there 

To One who has been long in City pest 

On first looking into Chapman's Homer 

On leaving some Friends at an early Hour 

Addressed to Hay don 

Addressed to the Same . 

On the Grasshopper and Cricket . 

To Kosciusko 

Happy is England ! i could re content 
Sleep and Poetry .... 



Page 

46 

47 

47 
48 

48 

49 
49 
50 
50 

51 



ENDVMION 

Endymion, Book I 63 

,, „//....... 93 

„ ,y III 121 

^> IV 150 

THE VOLUME OF 1820 

Lamia i8i 

Isabella ; or, the Pot of Basil .... 201 

The Eve of St, Agnes 219 

Ode to a Nightingale 232 

Ode on a Grecian Urn 235 

Ode to Psyche 237 

Fancy 240 

Ode 243 

Lines on the Mermaid Tavern .... 245 

Robin Hood 246 

To Autumn 248 

Ode on Melancholy 250 

HYPERION, A Fragment Book / . . . .252 

»» »i »» ** i^ • • • 262 

»» i» i> II *^i • • • 273 



POSTHUMOUS POEMS 

On seeing a Lock op MiLTOffs Hair 
The Thrush 



279 
280 
282 



CONTENTS vii 

Page 
POSTHUMOUS POEMS-^onHnued 

Written from Tbignmouth 283 

Is A Letter to Ha ydon 287 

From the same Letter to Haydon .... 289 

Written on May-Day 290 

Meg Merrilies . 291 

Walking in Scotland 293 

Staffa 295 

A Prophecy 297 

Song 299 

Faery Song . , 300 

Extracts from an Opera 301 

La Belle Dame Sans Merci 303 

Ode on Indolence 305 

The Eve of St. Marx 308 

Hyperion, A Vision 312 

n Fanny 326 

71? • ♦ ♦ ♦ 328 

SONNETS 

Spenser! a jealous Honourer of thine . . . 330 

Oh! how I LOYE, ON A FAIR SUMMER'S EVE . .331 

To A YOUNG Lady who seat me a Laurel Crown . 331 

After dark Vapours have oppressed our Plains . 332 
Written on the blank space of a Leaf at the 
END OF Chaucer's Tale of ** The Flowrb and 

THE Lefs*' 332 

On Leigh Hunt's Poem, " The Story of Pimini" . 333 

On seeing the Elgin Marbles 333 

To Haydon 334 

On a Picture of Leander 334 

On the Sea 335 

TkE Human Seasons 335 

On sitting down to read **^ King Lear'^ once again 336 

When i have Fears that i may cease to be , . 336 

Answer to a Sonnet by J, H, Reynolds . . . 337 

To THE Nile 337 

To Homer ... 338 

Written in Purns* Cottage 338 



• •• 

VUl 



CONTENTS 



Page 
POSTHUMOUS POEMS—conHmied 

Sonnet on Ailsa Rock 339 

Ben Nevis 339 

To y, H. Reynolds 340 

7b * • ♦ • 340 

To Sleep 341 

On Fame 341 

On Fame 34a 

Why did i laugh to-night f No Voice will tell ♦ 342 

On a Dream 343 

If by dull Rhymes our English must be CHAiifo . 343 

The day is gone^ and all its sweets are gone . 344 

i cry your mercy—pity— love !•— ay, love • • 344 

Ifis LAST Sonnet 345 



INTRODUCTION 

When criticism is confronted by a phenom^pjo^ like the poetical 
work of Keats-=work produced in the brief ^enty^^ years of a 
youn^^man^slue,^t which nevertheless has atlts best reached a 
point of perfection which compeb one critic to say that its author 
" is with Shakspere," and another great master crif our tongue to 
confess that '* I have come to that pass of admiration for him now 
that I dare not read him» so discontented he makes me with my 
own work " — it is in a manner called upon to give such explana- 
tion of it as may be had. A full explanation is of course im- 
possible. , The vision and the faculty divine always remain in the 
last resort inexplicable and unexplained. But it is possible to 
consider more closely than has perhaps hitherto been done the 
external influences that did much to mould the faculty of Keats — 
the country he knew, the art he studied, the poets whom in his 
early work he sought to imitate, and whose influence, *^ full 
alchemized " and twice distilled, has contributed something to the 
noble style of his maturer work. 

In an article which was to have formed a reply to Bowles 
strictures on Pope, Lord Byron takes occasion to fall foul of the 
** Cockney School " to which, in his view- Keats belonged. After 
speaking of the Lakists, he goes on : ''I can understand the pre- 
tensions of the aquatic gentlemen of Windermere to what Mr. 
B— calls entusumusyy for lakes and mountains and daflbdils and 
buttercups ; but I should be glad to be apprized of the foundation 
of the London propensities of their imitative brethren to the same 
* high argmnent.' Southey, Wordsworth, and Coleridge have 
rambled over half Europe, and seen Nature in most of her varieties 



X INTRODUCTION 

(although I think that they have occasionally not used her very 
well) ; but what on earth — of earth and sea and Nature have the 
others seen ? Not a half nor a tenth part so much as Pope. While 
they sneer at his Windsor Forest, have they ever seen anything 
of Windsor except its brick ?" Byron here of course puts aside the 
real question, which is, not so much what a poet sees, but how he 
sees it — whether, in Wordsworthian phrase, he has had his eye upon 
the object. But it may be admitted that if poetry of the class to 
which that of Keats belongs had been composed by a man who 
had never been beyond the sound of Bow BeUs it could not but 
possess an unreal, bookish, and factitious element. As a matter of 
faa, Keats was at school for some years at Enfield, made no doubt 
many an excursion thence into Epping Forest, afterwards lived, 
during hi^apprenticeship, in the same neighbourhood at Edmonton, 
and, even after he had come to London and settled in Hampstead, 
found time tor many a flight to Surrey, or Devonshire, or the Isle 
of Wight, or Oxford, or Winchester, or the English lakes, or the 
Scotch Highlands. Moreover the Hampstead of 1816-1820 was 
not the Hampstead of to-day. The lines to the Thrush were 
written at an open window in Hampstead, and the Ode to a 
Nightingale was suggested by the song of the bird that, in the 
spring of 18 19, had built its nest close to Mr. Brown's house in the 
same old-world suburb. The bird's song ''often threw Keats,*' 
says his biographer, ''into a sort of trance of tranquil pleasure. 
One morning he took his chair from the breakfast-table, placed it 
on the grass plot under a plum-tree, and sat there for two or three 
hours with some scraps of paper in his hands." It was then and 
there that the ode was written. The neighbourhood of Hampstead 
also suggested to Keats the charming juvenile verses, " I stood tip- 
toe upon a little hill," and Mr. Cowden Clarke relates that the 
passage on the stream and the minnows in that little poem — one of 
the most delicately touched to be found anywhere in Keats' work — 
'' was the recollection of our having frequently loitered over the 
rail of a foot-bridge that spanned (probably still spans, notwith- 
standing the intrusive and shouldering railroad) a little brook in the 
last field upon entering Edmonton." The fact is, that though 



INTRODUCTION xi 

Keats did not see anything that could be called a mountain till, late 
in his short life, he made that tour with his friend Brown through 
the North of England and Western Scotland, he was yet from his 
early boyhood familiar with the average, unspoilt country of the 
southern English Midlands, and must have seen the sea long before 
his first visit to the Isle of Wight. His biographer gives so few 
details of his life before the publication of the volume of 1817, that 
it is impossible to say where Keats first saw the sea, but it is clear 
that the man who wrote these lines — 

As when ocean 
Heaves calmly its broad swelling smoothness o'er 
Its rocky marge, and balances once more 
The patient weeds ; that now unshent by foam 
Feel all about their undulating home — 

or these — 

I see the lark down dropping to his nest 
And the broad-wing'd sea-gull never at rest ; 
For when no more he spreads his feathers free, 
His breast is dancing on the restless sea, — 

had other than a merely bookish knowledge of what he is describing. 
In the same way we may be assured that the poet to whom 
occurred the simile — 

Nought more untranquil than the grassy slopes 
Between two hills — 

had seen a Surrey or a Sussex down, and the " pigeon tumbling in 
clear summer air " is not the picture of a man who knew nothing 
outside of London brick. 

Before Keats published his Endymion we know that he had 
stayed, in some cases for weeks, in others for days, in the Isle of 
Wight, at Leatherhead in Surrey, and at Oxford. He had not 
penetrated northwards, and the very interesting reference to Skid- 
daw in the third book of the poem is a reminiscence, not of Skiddaw, 
but of Wordsworth. The first book of Endymion appears to 
have been written in the Isle of Wight. It was continued at 
Margate, Oxford, and Hampstead, and finished at Burford Bridge 



xu INTRODUCTION 

in Surrey. Mrs. Owen * rightly suggests a comparison between 
the first hundred lines of the poem and that delightful description of 
the island, in a letter to Reynolds from Carisbrooke. '* But the 
sea, Jack, the sea, the little waterfall, then St. dtherine's Hill, 
' the sheep in the meadows, the cows in the com ' ... I see 
drisbrooke Castle from my window, and have found several 
delightful wood alleys, and copses, and quiet freshes ; as for prim- 
roses, the island ought to be called Primrose Island, that is, if the 
nation of Cowslips agree thereto, of which there are divers clans 
just beginning to lift up their heads." Perhaps it was in the Isle of 
Wight that Keats conceived the first idea of that picture of a wave 
breaking, as it nears the shore, — 

Down whose green back the short-lived fotm, all hoar. 
Bursts gradual, with a wayward indolenc^^ 

which Mr. Ruskin has called '* quite perfect, as an example of the 

modem manner," and perhaps it was in that southem chalk country 

of bright colour and undulating down that his eye caught the beauty 

of those — 

Swelling downs, where sweet air stirs 

Blue hare beUs lightly, and where pricldy fune 

Buds lavish gold — 

or that he — 

Lingered in a sloping mead 

To hear the speclded thrushes, and see feed 

Our idle sheep. 

For the rest, the landscape of Endymion is essentially an English 
landscape, whether the poet takes us — 

Through the green evening, quiet in the sun, 
O'er many a heath, through many a woodland dun. 
Through buried paths, where sleepy twilight dreams 
The summer time away ; 

or tells us how — 

Rain-scented eglantine 

Gave temperate sweets to that weU-wooing sun ; 



* " Keats. A Study.'' By F. M. Owen — a charming and enthusiastic 
book. Kegan Paul, Trench, & Co. 



or how — 



INTRODUCTION xiii 

The lark was lost in him ; cold springs had run 
To warm their chilliest bubbles in the grass ; 

Clear summer has forth walk'd 
Unto the dover-sward, and she has talk'd 
Full soothingly to every nested finch ; 



» 



or calls to mind his explorations* of those "sedged brooks 
which are *' Thames' tributaries," and gives us this picture of the 

willow — 

And as a willow keeps 

A patient watch over the stream that creeps 

Windingly by it, so the quiet maid 

Held her in peace : so that a whispering blade 

Of grass, a wailful gnat, a bee bustling 

Down in the blue bells, or a wren light rustling 

Among sere leaves and twigs, might all be heard. 

The flowers of the Endymion are the wild rose and the pansy ; its 
birds are the lark, the nightingale, the wren, the linnet, and the 
thrush. In a word, Keats in the Endymion is writing, so far as 
the background of his story is concerned, about what he knows and 
not about what he pretends to know, and he both knew and felt the 
beauty of the English land, and of the sky over it, and of the sea en- 
compassing it, far better than it was ever known or felt by Byron. 

Between the publication of Endymion in 1818 and that of 
the volume containing Lamia, Hyperion, St. Agnes' Eve, and 
other pieces, in 1820, Keats spent some months in Devonshire, 
where he was kept in faithfid attendance upon his brother Tom, 
who finally died at Teignmouth. He also stayed at Winchester for 
the best part of the autumn of 1819, and spent the spring of the 
same year with Armitage Brown in the Isle of Wight. Winchester 
is the only one of these places which can certainly be connected 

* « Life and Letters," i. 5 5. (Written from Oxford.) ** For these last five 
or six days we have had r^ularly a boat on the Isis, and explored all the 
streams about, which are more in number than your eye-lashes. We som^ 
times skim into a bed of rushes, and then become naturalised river-folks. 
There is one particularly nice nest, which we have christened ' Reynold's 
Cove,' in which we have read Wordsworth, and talked as may be." 



xiv INTRODUCTION 

with any particular poem. He speaks of it as ''an exceedingly 
pleasant town, enriched with a beautiful cathedral, and surrounded 
by a fresh-looking country." The cathedral is probably partly 
responsible for the Eve of St. Mark, that strange and beautiful 
poem which was indeed begun before Keats went to Winchester, 
but which a casual allusion in one of his Winchester letters shows 
to have been in his mind while he was staying in the old cathedral 
city.* The ** firesh-looking country " supplied the inspiration of the 
Ode to Autunm. ** How beautiful the season is now," he writes 
from Winchester, on the 22nd of September, 18 19. ** How fine the 
air — SL temperate sharpness about it. Really, without joking, chaste 
weather — Dian skies. I never liked stubble fields so much as now — 
ay, better than the chilly green of the Spring. Somehow, a stubble 
field looks warm, in the same way that some pictures look warm. 
This struck me so much in my Sunday's walk that I composed 
upon it." And then follows the ** Season of mists and mellow 
fruitfulness." 

But neither Winchester, nor Teignmouth, nor the Isle of Wight 
was capable of introducing Keats to country of a kind which he 
had never seen before. The tour through the English Lakes and 
the Scotch Highlands was on the other hand an entirely new ex- 
perience. The two friends — ^Keats and Armitage Brown — ^walked on 
foot from Lancaster as far north as Inverness. They saw Winder- 
mere, Grasmere, Derwentwater, the country of Bums, lona, Stafia, 
and went up Skiddaw and Ben Nevis. ** Mr. Brown has recorded," 
writes Lord Houghton, ** the rapture of Keats, when he became 
sensible for the first time of the full effect of mountain scenery. At 

♦ See '* Life and Letters," ii. 24, where in a letter dated ** Winchester, 
22nd of September, 1819," Keats uses the words « kepen In solitarinesse " 
from that poem. It is possible that he had kept the poem by him, and 
added some touches to it at Winchester. But in the letter to his brother 
and sister, dated February 14th, 1819, and written shortly after his return 
from Chichester, he expressly says that he wrote St. Agnes' Eve in that 
ancient city, and adds : — "In my next packet I shall send you my Pot of 
Basil, St. Agnes' Eve, and if I should have finished it, a little thing, called 
tlie Eve of St. Mark." This looks as if Chichester had the better claim to 
be regarded as the place which suggested the background to the poem. 



INTRODUCTION xy 

I turn of the road above Bowness, where the Lake of Windermere 
irst bursts on the view, he stopped as if stupefied with beauty." 
One result of this tour is the amount of purely local poetry — poetry 
absolutely identified with, and descriptive of, some particular place 
which it produced. The verses on Meg Merrilies, on Sta£fa, 
the sonnets on Ailsa Rock, Ben Nevis, and Bums' Cottage are 
only some of the instances of this. But the tour left traces in his 
poetry less obvious, but even more interesting than these. Most 
readers of Keats are familiar with that passage in which Mr. 
Ruskin speaks of the Ode to Psyche. ** Keats," says Mr. Ruskin, 
"as is his way, puts nearly all that may be said of the pine into 
one verse, though they are only figurative pines of which he is 
speaking. I have come to that pass of admiration for him now, 
that I dare not read him, so discontented he makes me with my 
own work ; but others must not leave unread, in considering the 
influence of trees upon the human soul, that marvellous Ode to 
Psyche. Here is the piece about pines." Mr. Ruskin then quotes 

the lines begiiming, ** Yes, I will be thy priest and let the warm 

Love in," italicizing the words '* fledge the wild-ridged mountains," 
as those to which he desires to call the reader's particular attention, 
[n a letter from Keswick, Keats describes a clamber he had about 
Lodore. *' There is no great body of water, but the accompani- 
ment is delightful ; for it oozes out from a deft in perpendicular 
rocks, all fledged with ash and other beautifid trees." This is the 
first occurrence in Keats* work of the use of the verb which so 
(asciiuted Mr. Ruskin in the exact sense in which it is used in the 
passage firom the Ode to Psyche, and it is perhaps not fanciful to 
put the two passages together.* The same letter supplies another 
interesting parallel to a passage in H3rperion. ''On our remm 
trom the circuit," writes Keats, *' we set forth about a mile and a 
half on the Penrith road to see the Druid temple. We had a fag 

* The letters supply several interesting parallelisms of usage. I have 
quoted another of these on p. xxziii., and it is worth while to put the 
vords in a letter to Fanny Brawne, — " The last two years taste like brass 
apon my palate " — ^side by side with the " savour of poisonous brass and 
metal sick '* of Hyperion. 

b 



xvi INTRODUCTION 

up-hill, rather too near dinner-tune, which was rendered void by 

the gratification of seeing those aged stones on a gentle rise in the 

midst of the mountains, which at that time darkened all round, 

except at the fresh opening of the Vale of St. John.'* The passage 

in Hyperion is descriptive of ** that sad place Where Cybele and 

the bruised Titans moum'd." This is Keats* simile for the 

Titans- 
Scarce images of life, one here, one there, 
Lay vast and edgeways ; like a dismal drqae 
Of Druid stones, upon a forlorn moor, 
When the chill rain begins at shut of eve. 
In dull November, and their chancel vault, 
The Heaven itself, is blinded throughout night. 

It is surely a nitural suggestion that the ** cirque of Druid stones'* 
which Keats ad in mind was that known as the Druidical Stones 
near Keswick, the position of which has been described as '* com- 
manding nearly all the sunmiit ranges of the district detached from 
the human culture and occupation of their lower slopes, which are 
wholly out of sight from the high table-ground formed by the 
field,** and which his own letter proves to have made so strong an 
impression upon his mind. 

This is a subject which might easily be continued further. A 
comparison, for instance, of Keats' letter descriptive of StaflEii, with 
a line n Hyperion — ''Like natural sculpture in cathedral cavern" 
— ^makes it certain that in writing that line Keats was thinking 
of Fingal's Cave. But enough has perhaps been said to indicate 
that Keats knew his native land unusually well for a young man 
in the days before railways, that the touches of natural beauty so 
frequent in the poems were derived from real impressions of the 
writer's own, and that the landscape of the poems is a thoroughly 
English landscape. Keats' impressions of natural beauty were 
implanted early, and they retained their freshness all his life. Most 
readers of Keats will remember that pathetic passage in a letter 
written just a year before his untimely death, in which he notes 
'' how astonishingly does the chance of leaving this world impress 
its natural beauties upon us 1 Like poor Falstaff, though I do not 



INTRODUCTION xvii 

* babble,' I think of green fields ; I muse with the greatest affection 
on every flower I have known from my infancy — ^their shapes and 
colours are as new to me as if I had just created them with a super- 
human fancy. It is because they are connected with the most 
thoughtless and the happiest moments of our lives. I have seen 
foreign flowers in hothouses, of the most beautiful nature, but I do 
not care a straw for them. The simple flowers of our Spring are 
what I want to see again." 

But though the landscape which Keats knew, and which he 
painted in as the background to his poetry, is an English landscape, 
he does not look at it with purely English eyes. He sees it 
through the glamour of the Greek mythology. His use of the 
Greek gods and goddesses, '* not dead," as he says himself, "but 
in old marbles ever beautiful," is not a mere literary affectation. 
It is not a tradition picked up from Chaucer, Browne, and Fletcher. 
It is something vital and personal to Keats himself. He is not 
content to philosophise about Nature as did Wordsworth ; he is not 
content with the "something hx more deeply interfused;" he 
demands a conception of Nature such as will satisfy his highest 
sense of beauty, and touch a chord of almost personal affection. 
" Scenery is fine," he says, " but human nature is finer ; the sward 
is richer for the tread of a real nervous English foot ; the eagle's 
nest is finer for the mountaineer having looked into it." To Keats 
the highest beauty is that of a beautiful human being. Here he 
diflers firom Wordsworth, who feels nothing of Keats' desire to read 
human into natural beauty, and in a manner to interpenetrate and 
combine the two. Wordsworth at his best, reaches a height of 
spiritual insight, in dealing with the relations of man and Nature, 
which is beyond Keats ; Keats at his best, attains a beauty " full- 
form'd, like Venus rising from the sea," which is beyond Words- 
worth ; the inferior manner of the one is marked by the lapse into 
mechanical theorising, that of the other by the lapse into a 
sensuousness over rich and even morbid. If Keats had never 
heard of the Greek mythology, he would still probably have sought 
to give a half-human, half-divine personality to the sun, and moon, 
and sea. But, as a matter of fact, he became acquainted with the 

c 



xviu INTRODUCTION 

whole pantheon of gods and goddesses in his early boyhood. He 
knew no Greek, but he worked diligently through the iEneid at 
school, and Tooke, Spence, and Lempri^re did the rest. Mr. 
Cowden Clarke says of Lempri6re*s Dictionary that Keats ** ap- 
peared to learn " that book, and indeed only the most continuous 
and delighted poring over its pages could have given Keats that 
familiarity with Greek legend which he displays at every turn. 
There are occasional slips. Thus Keats makes Venus say, " Vial 
my Cytherea," when he means " Cythera," and, ** Tellus feels her 
forehead's cumbrous load," which thus correctly appears in the text 
of the first edition of Endymion, is altered by the change of 
" her" to " his " in the list of errata prefixed to the volume. But 
even this is set right later. We find "Tellus and her briny 
robes " in the volume of 1820. These, however, are the only mis- 
takes made in hundreds of allusions to the classical mythology. 
Keats must indeed have known much of Lempri^re positively by 
heart. It is worth while to put one or two passages side by side. 
In the second book of Endymion Keats writes — 

At this, with maddenM stare, 
And lifted hands, and trembling lips, he stood ; 
Like old Deucalion mountain'd o'er the flood, 
Or blind Orion hungry for the morn. 

Lempri^re narrates, under " Deucalion," how the vessel in which 
Deucalion took refuge from the deluge was '* tossed about during 
nine successive days, and at last stopped on the top of Mount 
Parnassus, where Deucalion remained till the waters had sub- 
sided ; " and under ** Orion," how ** (Enopion intoxicated his 
illustrious guest, and put out his eyes on the sea-shore, where he 
had laid himself down to sleep. Orion, finding himself blind 
when he awoke, was conducted by the sound to a neighbouring 
forge, where he placed one of the workmen on his back, and by his 
directions went to a place where the rising sun was seen to the 
greatest advantage. Here he turned his face towards the luminary, 
and, as it is reported, immediately recovered his eyesight, and 
hastened to punish the perfidious cruelty of GEnopion." Any one 
who cares to pursue this subjea for himself, and will, for instance. 



INTRODUCTION xix 

look out the Glaucus, Scylla, Hermes of Endymion, or the 

whole body of the dramatis persona of Hyperion in Lempri^, 

will easily convince himself of the far from recondite source of the 

great majority of Keats' classical allusions. This reliance upon 

Lemprite descends to small minutiae. Thus it is the Pseon which 

Keats found inLemprito — ** Endymion married Chromia, daughter 

of Bonus, or, according to some, Hyperipne, daughter of Areas, 

by whom he had three sons, Paon, Epeus, and iEolus " — and not, 

as might conceivably be suggested, the Pxana of Spenser (F. Qp 

iv. 8, 49) which in all probability is responsible for his Peona. 

Was then Byron right in speaking of Keats as '* versifying 

Lempri^ ? '* He was right in the letter and wrong in the spirit. 

The remark is true in the sense in which it is true that Shakspere 

versified Holinshed. Here is what Lemprite says about Saturn 

and the golden age. ''Saturn, unmindful of his son*s kindness, 

conspired against him when he heard that he raised cabals against 

him, but Jupiter banished him from his throne, and the father fled 

for safety into Italy. Janus, who was then King of Italy, received 

Saturn with every mark of attention, and made him his partner on 

the throne ; and the King of Heaven occupied himself in civilising 

the barbarous manners of the people of Italy, and the teaching them 

agriculture and the useful and liberal arts. His reign there was so 

mild and popular, so beneficent and virtuous, that mankind have 

called it the ' golden age,' to intimate the happiness and tranquillity 

which the earth then enjoyed." The reader who will compare thb 

passage with Hyperion, i. 1 06-1 12 will better understand out of 

what sand Keats sifted the fine gold of his verse. In the same way 

a prosy sentence of Lempri^re's about Pan as '* the emblem of 

fecundity," and '' the principle of all things," was probably the 

germ of that great ode to Pan in the first book of Endymion, 

wherein the poet interprets the Greek idea in a way at once so 

sympathetic and so modem, and personifies in Pan the spirit that 

informs the lonely places of the earth, that is half seen in its 

mysterious sights, and is the — 

Strange ministrant of undescribed sounds 

That come a swooning over hollow grounds 

And wither drearily on barren moors. ^ ^ 



XX INTRODUCTION 

But this natural bent and instinct of Keats to personify Natoie, to 
see it in the Greek way, is perhaps most clearly traceable in the 
many passages on the moon scattered throughout his poems. Of 
course End}rmion depends on one long identification o£ the moon 
with the '* Silver huntress, chaste and fair.*' But even in the 
juvenile volume of 1 817 the mythological mm which Keats always 
shows in speaking of the moon is already strongly marked. The 
single passage in which he is content to dwell on the purely phyacal 
appearances of the moon, without importing some idea of personality, 
is that in which he speaks of— 

the moon lifting her silver rim 
Above a cloud, and with a gradnal swim 
Coming into the blue with all her light. 

The other passages are — • 

Or the coy moon, when in the waviness 
Of whitest clouds she does her beauty dress, 
And staidly paces higher up and higher. 
Like a sweet nun in holy<day attire, 
and — 

To see high, golden com wave in the light 

When Cynthia smiles upon a summer's night. 
And peers among the cloudlets jet and white, 
As though she were reclining in a bed 
Of bean blossoms, in heaven freshly shed. 

E'en now, dear George, while this for you I write, 
Cynthia is from her silken curtains peeping 

So scantly that it seems her bridal night. 
And she her half-discover'd revels keeping. 

These passages strike the note which is struck still more strongly in 
the Endymion. Thus Keats makes Endymion say — 

What is there in thee. Moon I that thou shouldst move 

My heart so potently? When yet a child 

I oft have dried my tears when thou hast smiled. 

Thou seem'dst my sister : hand in hand we went 

From eve to mom across the firmament. 

No apples would I gather from the tree, 

TUl thou hadst cool'd their cheeks delidously : 



and — 



INTRODUCTION xxi 

No tumbling water ever spake romance, 
Bat when my e3res with thine thereon conld dance : 
No woods were green enough, no bower divine. 
Until thou liftedst up thine eyelids fine. 

1 here is the passage in which the identification of the goddess 
the moon is carried to the furthest possible point, a passage, 
reover, which contains three lines which rank among the most 
utiiul in the poem — 

Full £idng their swift flight, trom ebon streak. 

The moon put forth a little diamond peak. 

No bigger than an unobserved star. 

Or tiny point of £uiy sdmetar ; 

Bright signal that she only stoop'd to tie 

Her silver sandals, ere delidously 

She bow'd into the heavens her timid head. 

Slowly she rose, as though she would have fled. 

While to his lady meek the Carian tum'd. 

To mark if her dark eyes had yet discem'd 

This beauty in its birth — Despair I despair ! 

He saw her body £&ding gaunt and spare 

In the cold moonshine. Straight he seized her wrist ; 

It melted from his grasp ; her hand he kiss'd. 

And, horror ! kiss*d his own — he was alone. 

rhe mythologizing vein of Keats was then something natural and 
per to the man. It was mainly fed upon a prosy classical 
ionary, a schoolboy's knowledge of the JEneid, and Chapman's 
islation of Homer. But Greek art also helped Keats to come 
I to Greek life. His sonnets on the Elgin Marbles show how 
studied the greatest existing monuments of Greek art, and his 
ndship with Haydon was here a most fortunate thing for him. 
ydon was perhaps the first Englishman who rightly understood 
full beauty and importance of the Elgin Marbles, and Keats saw 
m under the most competent possible direction. It is to be 
ed also in this connection that the Greek Vase which inspired 
Its was no figment of his imagination, but had a real existence, 
! is now, it is said, under the arcade at the south fi-ont of 



d5 DnncDDcnox 



fidHiod Hocsc* Cx*csi ibe rj^'iPg a£ Krats, bis pasaooate ardoor 
for beaocy, his proeccsi oaiiik rop tkz: poetry sboold be as fv as 
possibk oc^eohie aod iozpersoBiL^ x^ grres oo die other hand 
socfa knaodei^ of Greek Hf, Greek ait, 2nd die Greek cod- 
cepdoQ of NjLsre as be possessed, iz^ ve begin to understand 
how it was that tbe ytxzig Lcckiooer was at heart a Greek. The 
ha, is that there aie Greeks in aH ages. A nature so diflq e n ! 
hxxn Keas* as thai of Hefne ieh tbe same irresistible attractioD ; 
even the serious Wordsworth has ooce or twice socoimbed to it ; 
and SbeHey, thocg^ die jnarme modemness of his sympathies 



* In answer to my nK^niry ts to tbe existeoce of any sock am in tbe 
British Mosecm, Mr. A. S. Mozxzy kisJ^y wroce to xae as follows, nndcr 
date 12 Angrxst, 1S80 : — ** Keats was, of axirse, thin king of a marble nni ; 
bat tbe Moseom has only twD s pr any n s whkh oxild be said to ba^e aay* 
thing in common with the ode, and that is very little. On the odier hand, 
Pinnesi (pnUished in 1750) grres an engraring firom a Urge marble nxn, 
then belonging to Lord Holland here, and yoa wiH see at once how perfectly 
one side of the am illnstzates the lines — 

Who are these cooling to theaftoifice? 
To what altar, etc 

A small throng of peo|^ come from the left towards a Teiled priest wbo 
stands beside an altar, beside which also a yoath f^js on pipes. On the 
right a heifier (and an nnpoetic pig) is being led to be sacrificed. Here and 
there is a tree. Piranesi does not give the other side of the Tue, and in £ict 
I don't know if diere were designs on the other side. The am mast exist 
still, one woald think, in Holland House. Bat supposing Keats to ban 
got his knowledge from Pixanesi's work, which most have been oommoD 
enongh in this country, one might imagine that having £uled to find the 
other side of the Holland am, he had taken in its stead another engiaving 
in the tame Tolume, from an am in the Borghesc gallery, which admirably 
illuftiates tbe lines — 

What men or gods are these ? 
• * • • 

Bold knrer, never, never canst thon loss. 

Both the engravings I speak of will be found in Piranesi, vol. xiii. (Vasi e 
Omdelabri). The plates are not numbered, or I would give yoa a more 
ciact reference." 

t " Life and Letters," i. 84, aai, aaa. 



INTRODUCTION xxiii 

prevented him from being fully mastered by it, was not invul- 
nerable against the charm. 

Thus far I have been endeavouring to point out ** how exqui- 
sitely" (to use a phrase of Wordsworth's) **the external world was 
fitted to the mind " of Keats, with what intimate knowledge and 
aflfection he approached it, and how a guiding conception of that ex- 
ternal world was supplied to a mind naturally receptive of such ideas 
by the Greek mythology. But it b one thing to have ideas, and 
another to have the power to express them. The necessary comple- 
ment of any inquiry into the formation of a poet's modes of thought 
is an enquiry into the formation of his style. It is impossible to 
understand the work of Pope without some knowledge of at least 
Dryden, and Boileau, and it is impossible to understand Keats without 
some knowledge of at least Spenser, Milton, and Leigh Hunt. The 
influence of Chapman, Browne, and Chatterton, was also consider- 
able, and it is not difHcult to point out certain obligations, either in 
diction or in idea, to Chaucer, Shakspere, Landor, and Words- 
worth. Every reader of Keats, particularly of the two earlier 
volumes pubhshed in 1817 and 18 18, must have been struck by the 
richness, and sometimes also, it must be allowed, by the strangeness 
of the vocabulary. One's first impression is that Keats invented 
outright words of which the sound pleased him, and that his 
diction is to a very large extent vicious and arbitrary. A detailed 
examination of the text of Keats' favourite poets will however show 
that the new and arbitrary element in Keats' diction is a good deal 
less than might easily be supposed. Such an examination will also 
make it possible to reach one or two generalisations, which repose 
perhaps on something more than a merely personal impression of 
Keats' style. We shall be able to disengage the Spenserian, the 
Miltonic, the Leigh Huntish influence in Keats' work from a merely 
schoolboyish element on the one hand and from the perfect work- 
manship of his finest poems on the other. 

The strongest literary influence exercised by any one writer upon 
the mind of Keats was that exercised by Spenser. Leigh Hunt's 
influence is strongly marked only in his earliest, that of Milton only 
in his latest work ; but not only b Spenser everywhere both in the 



xxiv INlTtODUCTION 

volume of juvenile poems and in Endymion, but one of Keats' 
latest and most beautiful poems, St. Agnes* Eve, is perhaps the 
finest example of the use of the Spenserian stanza, out of Spenser, in 
the whole range of English verse. Spenser was his first love in poetry 
and even Milton and Shakspere did not cause him to be forgotten in 
Keats' maturer years. Mr. Cowden Clarke read the Epithalamicm 
to him when he was sixteen, and also lent him his copy of the 
Faerie Qpeene, "through which he went," writes Mr. Clarke, 
*' as a young horse would through a Spring meadow — ramping.** 
One of Keats* earliest sonnets is that to Spenser, which I have 
printed among the Posthumous Poems. The motto of the volume 
of i8 1 7 is taken from the Muiopotmos. One of the poems in it is 
entitled Calidore, and is full of reminiscences of incident and de- 
scription in the Faerie Queene. In the Epistle to George Felton 
Mathew, Keats transfers Spenser's beautiful line — 

And made a sunshine in a shady place 

(F. (X i. 3) 4) almost verbatim into his poem. The little river 
MuUa of Spenser*s Irish home, which is so often mentioned in the 
Faerie Qpeene (iv. 11, 41 ; vii. 6, 40) and the minor poems 
(Colin Qout and Epithalamion) finds its place among other 
Spenserian allusions, in the Epistle to Charles Cowden Qarke. 
Keats* imitation of Spenser descends even to points of spelling, 
and the following words were undoubtedly derived firom him — 
** perceant,*' " raught," ** Ubbard," " seemlihed,*' "espial," 
"shent" and ** unshent," ** wox," "besprent," "grisly" (spdt 
by Keats, after the manner of Spenser, " griesly **), and " daedal." 
I should point to the same source for " beadsman," " passioned," 
"covert" (a characteristic Spenserian word) "sallows" and 
" eteme." In St. Agnes' Eve we have the curious form " tina" 
— " and lucent syrops tinct with cinnamon." The only other 
instance I know of this word b in the Shepherd's Calendar for 
November— " the blew in black, the greene in gray is tinct." 
There is a curious past participle in the first book of Endymion 
(i. 334) — "and the raft Branch down sweeping firom a tall tree 
top.*' "Byraft" occurs in Chaucer's Knight's Tale, "beraft" 



ft 



INTRODUCTION 

twice in the Shepherd's Calendar, and the actual participle " raft, 
without the prefix, in Chapman's Homer (II. xi. 352) — 

Tydides from his breast had spoil'd, and from his shoulder raft 
His target and his solid helm. 

Keats had probably noted the use in all three authors. For Keats' 
firequent use of the word '* imageries" in the plural the only 
parallel I can find is in Spenser's Ruines of lime. 

Sure gates, sweete gardens, stately galleries. 
Wrought with fiiire pillours and fine imageries. 

Such details are not altogether trifling, for they establish two 
points which are worth establishing; firstly Keats' very accurate 
knowledge of Spenser's text, secondly the fact that in nine-tenths of 
his strange words he reproduces rather than invents. But Keats* 
debt to Spenser was by no means limited to such borrowings as 
these. The Faerie Qpeene was a school of high thinking and 
healthy emotion to him, as it has been to many a reader, and the 
unmatchable ease and sweetness of Spenser's versification were not 
lost upon so apt a pupil. These, however, are matters which the 
discerning reader of both poets will feel readily enough and which 
it is hardly possible to formulate. Keats' own feeling on the latter 
point is touched in the couplet in the Epistles — 

Spenserian vowels, that elope with ease 

And float along like birds o'er summer seas— 

and a living critic has expressed his sense of the relation between 
the two poets in the passage in which he speaks of ** the one 
modem inheritor of Spenser's beautiful gift ; the poet who evidently 
caught firom Spenser his sweet and easy-slipping movement, and 
who has exquisitely employed it ; a Spenserian genius, nay, a genius 
by natural endowment richer probably than even Spenser ; that light 
which shines so unexpected and without fellow in our century, an 
Elizabethan bom too late, the early lost and admirably gifted Keats." 
A romantic movement, such as that in the English literature of 
the first quarter of this century, is essentially based upon two ideas. 



xxvi INTRODUCTJOK 

There is, in the first place, the return to nature, the reactioc, 
that is, from a conventional and academic treatment of human and 
external nature, and the endeavour to see the object as it really is. 
There is in the second place the return to the earlier, more racy, 
more vital products of the national mind. One great side of 
the French romantic movement was its insistance upon the fact 
that there was a great French literature, a literature full of life and 
colour and exquisitely shaped, before Comeille. In England dx 
re-action against Pope and all his works led straight to the study 
of Chaucer, Spenser, Shakspere, and many another minor light of 
English song. In every romantic movement there is then a prophet 
and a man of letters. Wordsworth was the prophet ; the work of 
the man of leners was not exhausted by any single man. To 
mention only three names out of a list which might easily be 
extended, something was done by Coleridge, something by Chaiks 
Lamb, something also by Leigh Hunt. To Leigh Hunt's position 
as the typical man of letters justice has hardly perhaps been done. 
He had a wide knowledge of literature, a catholic judgment, and a 
really remarkable sureness and delicacy of appreciation. He did 
not himself produce work of absolutely the first order, but he 
leavened the minds of men like Keats and Shelley, and put them 
on the right way to increase their knowledge and refine their taste. 
On Keats especially hb influence was considerable. Keats was 
introduced to Hunt almost directly after he had first come up to 
London, slept now and then at his house in the Vale of Health, 
compared notes with him on books, now die Italian poets, now 
Milton, and wrote poems on the same themes in friendly rivalry. 
The ** loved Libertas " of Keats' first volume is of course Leigh 
Hunt. To Leigh Hunt the volume itself is dedicated, and the 
•* one epithet of doubtful taste " which in Lord Houghton's view 
somewhat disfigures the dedicatory sonnet is in fact taken straight 
from the elder poet's Hero and Leander.* A motto from the 
Story of Rimini is prefixed to the lines beginning "I stood 

* Lord Houghton doubtless alludes to the phrase in the sonnet, — "a 
free, a leafy luxury." In the Hero and Leander we have " Half set in 
trees and leafy luxury," 



INTRODUCTION xxvii 

tip-toe upon a little hill." The Specimen ot an Induction to a 
Poem, is, as noted by Dante Rossetti in his copy of Keats, 
throughout "Leigh Huntish," and the following lines from that 
early unnamed poem of Keats to which we have just referred — 

Who feel their arms and breasts, and kiss, and stare. 
And on their placid foreheads part the hair — 

reveal their origin when put side by side with these from the 
Gentle Armour : — 

The weeping dames prepare 
Linen and balms, and part his forlorn hair, 
And let upon his fiice the blessed air. 

It is not to be expected that it should be possible to point out direct 
borrowings of words from Leigh Hunt ; for such things Keats 
naturally went to the elder poets. Till, however, some better source 
can be discovered for Keats' use of the word "plashy" in **a 
serpent's plashy neck " (Hyp. ii. 45), I feel disposed to think that 
he had a vague remembrance, when he wrote the line, of the 
"plashy pools, half-covered with green weed" of the Story of 
Rimini. I should be disposed also to put Keats' "Leave the 
diim'd air vibrating silverly " side by side with the " princely music, 
tmbedinn'd with drums " of the same poem of Leigh Hunt. 

A more subtle point of likeness between the two poets b the 
frank, almost naif way both have of expressing their pleasure, and 
calling upon the reader to share it with them. 

Both poets have a curious way of using "so," which can only 
be described as a sort of appeal to the reader, a tacit question, 
whether he has not noted the same thing, and felt the same pleasure 
from it. Leigh Hunt for instance (Story of Rimini) has — 

With orange, whose warm leaves so finely suit. 
And look as if they shade a golden fruit. 

Keats has (Gdidore) — 

Shadowy trees that lean 
So elegantly o'er the water's brim 



xxviii INTRODUCTION 

and (" Places of nestling green for poets made ") — 

Round which is heard t spring-head of clear waters 
Babbling so wildly of its lovely daughters. 
The spreading blue bells ; 

and (Calidore) — 

White swans that dream so sweetly. 

Another point in this kind, that is very characteristic of both poets, 
is their use of the word ** delicious." They use it far oftener than 
any other English poet. Leigh Hunt has quite a theory on the 
subjea. In one of his prefaces he quotes Chaucer's — 

Hearing his minstralles their thinges play 
Before him at his board deliciously — 

and adds, in a note: — "The word * deliciously ' is a venture of 
animal spirits which in a modem writer some critics would pro- 
nounce to be affected or too familiar ; but the enjoyment, and even 
incidental appropriateness and relish of it, will be obvious to finer 
senses." Lest practice should lag behind theory, Leigh Hunt uses 
the word in the Story of Rimini — 

A lurking contrast, which, though harsh it be, 
Distib the next note more delidously ; 

and the word is indeed characteristic of that ** disengagement of his 
pleasure " (Prof. Dowden) which is the constant and characteristic 
effort of Leigh Hunt. I find the word used sixteen times, and 
always with emphasis, indeed as the keynote of the sentence, in 
Keats. Thus of the moon : — 



and — 



No apples would I gather from the tree, 

Till thou hadst cooFd their cheeks deliciously ; 



Bright signal that she only stooped to tie 

Her silver sandals, ere deliciously 

She bow'd into the heavens her timid head. 






INTRODUCTION xxix 

Another very beautiful passage in which the word occurs is in the 
Ode to Psydie :— 

Fairer than these, though temple thou hast none. 

Nor altar heap'd with flowers ;^ 
Nor virgin-choir to make delicious moan 

Upon the midnight hours. 

I do not believe for a moment that in this point Keats was a 
conscious copyist of Leigh Himt. He himself touches the true 
explanation when he writes in answer to the criticisms of his 
friends on the first (suppressed) preface to Endymion: — '* Since 
you all agree that the thing b bad, it must be so^though I am not 
aware that there is anything like Hunt in it (and if there is, it is my 
natural way, and I have something in common with Hunt)." But 
though this *' something in common with Himt " is sufficient to 
explain that higher, almost ideal sensuousness which is to be found 
in both poets, it is not sufficient to explain Keats' adoption in his 
eariier work of Leigh Hunt's principles of heroic verse wholesale. 
These are, as laid down by Leigh Hunt in his well-known preface 
(i) Variety of pause, and avoidance of too much stress upon the 
rhyme. '* Dryden," he says, ** noble as his management of it is, 
b^us after all too much upon the rhyme. It hinders his matter 
from having due pre-eminence before his maimer." (2) Dis- 
syllabic rhymes. (3) The division of the couplet, i.e., the begin- 
ning of a new paragraph with the second line of it. All these 
principles could be fiadrly educed from Chaucer's, practice, and the 
first remains valid almost without qualification. To the end of his 
life Keats never ceased to avoid those ** poimcing rh3rmes," to use 
his ovm phrase, which tend to convert heroic verse into a string of 
epigrams. But it may be suggested that Leigh Hunt somewhat 
overdid his dissyllabic rhymes and his divided couplets. He 
elevated what was in Chaucer a charming exception, and a welcome 
relief to the ear, into a rule. He divided the couplet more often 
than not, he sowed dissyllabic rh3rmes like ** gleaming — seeming," 
"champing — tramping," *' places — faces," "finely — divinely," 
"started — departed," " feeling— healing," "sweemess — complete- 



INTRODUCTION 

ness,** so fineely over his Stoiy of Rimini, as to cloy and weary 
the ear rather than relieve it. Now in these points Keats in his 
early v^ork followed Leigh Hunt faithfully step for step. In the 
volume of 1817 rhymes like "supinely — divinely," "fingers- 
lingers," "pleasure — treasure" are extremely common. They 
occur less often in Endynuon, but in the mature Lamia, which 
Keats wrote with unusual care and after much study of Dryden, 
there is not a single one of them.* A simple process of countiDg 
makes it possible to indicate the gradual way in which Keats 
brought his use of these rhymes to a minimnm and shook him- 
self free firom the influence of Leigh Hunt. In the 242 lines 
of the juvenile " Pbces of nestling green for poets made," there 
are twenty>seven dissyllabic rhymes; there are twenty-^x sodi 
rhymes in the 404 lines of the Sleep and Poetry, also published 
in the volume of 1817. In rht 993 lines of die first book of 
Endymion there are twenty-five of them, but only thirteen in 
the 1012 lines of the fourth book of the same poem. There axe 
none, finally, in Lamia, and there is not moreover in that poem 
a single divided couplet. Lamia, in fact, marks Keats' final and 
complete independence of Leigh Hunt, and it is the more note- 
worthy therefore that that admirable critic should have borne so 
generous a tribute to "the lovely poetic consdousness in the 
Lamia of Keats, in which the lines seem to take pleasure in the 
progress of their own beauty, like sea-nymphs luxuriating through 
the water." 

The early soimets show that Keats' study of Milton had b^inn 
before the publication of the volume of 1817. He expressly 
mentions Lyddas, and the curious word " sphery " which occurs 
in that volume vras probably picked out of a line in Comus. 
But it is not till after Endymion had been finished that Keats 
became really familiar with ^bt Paradise Lost. On the 27^1 
of April, 1818, he writes to Reynolds:— "I long to feast upon 
old Homer as we have upon Shakspere, and as I have lately upon 

• Sadi rhymes as " inquired — inspired," *• flower — hour," ** desiiv-* 
redre," ** towers — hours," can hardly be counted as dissyllabic. ** Fir^— 
tiar " is t more doubtful case. 



* % 



INTRODUCTION 



on." In a letter written a week later there is an elaborate 
iparison between the philosophical standpoint of Milton and of 
rdsworth. The Notes on Milton published at the end of the 
volume of the Life and Letters show the most intimate know- 
;e of the Paradise Lost, and no poet has ever expressed a warmer 
more delicate appreciation of another's work. The effects 
ill this study are very visible in the final volume of 1820. 
»erion is, as the poet himself felt, almost too Miltonic. '* I 
2 given up Hyperion, " he writes ; ** there were too many 
onic inversions in it. Miltonic verse cannot be written but in 
jtful or artist's humour. It may be interesting to you to pick 
some lines from Hyperion, and put a mark + to the false 
tty, proceeding from art, and i, 2, to the true voice of feeling. 
in my soul, 'twas imagination ; I cannot make the distinction — 
y now and then there is a Miltonic intonation — but I cannot 
e the division properly." The first book of Hyperion will 
ily supply instances of the Miltonic inversions with which Keats 
I expressed himself dissatisfied. Thus, in the description of 
erion's remm to his palace : — 

Then, as was wont, his palace-door flew ope 
In smoothest silence, save what solemn tubes, 
Blown by the serious Zephyrs, gave of sweet 
And wandering sounds. 

ipare this with Milton's (P. L. ii. 20) — 

With what besides in council or in fight 
Hath been achieved of merit. 

mikr comparison is permissible between Keats' (Hyp. i. 312) — 

At whose joys 
I, Ccelus, wonder how they came and whence ; 
And at the fruits thereof what shapes they be — 

Milton's (P. L. ii. 990)— 

I know thee stranger who thou art. 

ther peculiarly Miltonic passages are that astronomical one in 



#* 



INTRODUCTION 



the first book of the poem, containing Milton's word ''colmt,'' 

and how exactly the grand manner of Milton is caught in the 

lines — 

There was t listening fear in her regard. 

As if calamity had but begun ; 

As if the vanward clouds of evil days 

Had spent their malice, and the sullen rear 

Was with its stored thunder labouring up. 

The picture of the exiled Titans in the 2nd book of Hyperioa 
bears a general resemblance to Milton's Pandemonium^ a still 
greater one, perhaps, to the purgatory in Landor's Gebir.* The 
Miltonic element, finally, in Keats' vocabulary is large and im- 
portant. From Milton Keats borrowed the words '* argent," 
** spume," ** couchant," ** sciential," ** slumberous " (I regret to say 
that Keats also indulges in the very vile word ''slumbery"), 

* Other obligations of Keats to Landor might be pointed out. 
Thus, compare Keats' (Hyp. i. 3S-38) : — 

How beautiful, if sorrow had not made 
Sorrow more beautiful than Beauty's self. 
There was a listening fear in her r^^d, 
As if calamity had but begun — 

with Gcbir, i. 57 - 

There was a brightening paleness in his £ice 
Such as Diana, rising o'er the rocks, 
Shower'd on the lonely Latmian ; on his brow 
Sorrow there was, yet nought wis there severe : 

Also Hyp. iii. 125 — 

Most like the struggle at the gate of death — 
may perhaps be put side by side with Gebir, vii. 240— 

He seems to struggle from the grasp of death ; 
and Hyp. ii. 363 — 

Shone like the bubbling foam about a keel — 

with Gcbir, vi. 6— 

Every surge 
Runs with a louder murmur up their keel. 



INTRODUCTION nxiii 

•* parle,"" gui^ge," the substantive ** regard," the adjective ** slope,*** 
the adjective "drear." The "syllabling thus" of Lamia is a 
reminiscence of the " airy tongues that syllable men's names" of 
Qunus. A difficult passage in Endymion (ii. 880) — 

Ravishments more keen 
Than Hermes' pipe, when anxious he did lean 
Over eclipsing eyes. 

can hardly be understood without a reference to the use of " eclipse " 
as a neuter verb in Milton (P. L. ii. 666) — 

While the labouring moon 
Eclipses at their charms. 

Keats' allusion is of course to the closed eyes of Argus. One of 
the oddest points in Keats' vocabulary is his fondness for the word 
** Gordian." Thus he has ** the eye of gordian snake," and — also 
of a snake — " she was a gordian shape of dazzling hue." f In a 
letter he uses the more intelligible phrase " a gordian complication 
of feelings." Of course the reference is always to the Gordian knot, 
but the special application of the word to a snake was no doubt 
suggested by Milton's (P. L. iv. 348)— 

The serpent sly. 
Insinuating, wove with Gordian twine 
His braided train. 

Of Milton's use of the word ** reluctant " m P. L. vi. 58— 

And clouds begin 
To darken all the hill, and smoke to roll 
In dusky wreaths reluctant flames — 

Keats says : — " ' Reluctant,' with its original and modem meaning 

* Also copied by Coleridge — " Down the slope coppice to the woodbine 
bower." 

t In Endymion, ii. 614, Keats coins a curious verb from this word — 

Yet she had. 
Indeed, locks bright enough to make me mad ; 
And they were simply gordian'd up and braided. 

d 



xniv INTRODUCTION 

combined and woven together, with all its shades of significatioo, 
has a powerful effect." He himself seeks to gain something of the 
same effect in the lines (Hyp. i. 6i) — 

Thy thunder, consdons of the new conmumd. 
Rumbles reluctant o'er our fallen honse. 

The word ''sooth" is used by Keats more than once as an 
adjective, in the sense of ** sweet." Thus ** sooth voice " in the 
first version of Hyperion, "Jellies soother than the creamy curd" 
in St. Agnes' Eve, "soothest sleep" in one of the posthumous 
sonnets. The source of the word is probably to be found in 
Comus — 

The soothest shepherd that e'er piped on plains ; 

but Coleridge also uses it in that facetious sonnet which he wrote 
by way of exemplifying a vicious poetic diction,* and it may perhaps 
occur elsewhere in the older poets. Milton's lines On the Death 
of a Fair Infant contain this passage — 

Or that thy beauties lie in wormy bed 
Hid from the world in a low-delved tomb. 

Keats has adopted the word "wormy " in his Isabella. The " low- 
delved tomb " probably suggested the ** cool'd a long time in the 
deep-delved earth " in the famous Ode to Autumn. 

But the deepest mark which the diction of Milton left upon the 
diction of Keats remains to be pointed out. In his life of Gray, 
Dr. Johnson takes occasion to remark : — ** There has of late arisen 
a practice of giving to adjectives derived from substantives the 
termination of participles: such as the 'cultiued' plain, the 
' daisied ' bank ; but I was sorry to see in the lines of a scholar 
like Gray the * honied ' spring." Johnson might have gone on to 
regret Gra3r's use of "storied" — ** the storied urn and animated 
bust" — and further to point out that both words come straight 
from Milton. Johnson is in fact attacking an almost universal and 

* Biog. Lit. i. 26. See p. zlii. 



INTRODUCTION mxv 

perfectly legitimate usage of the ^poets. Shakspere has of course 
"scarfed bark," "sceptred sway," "tower'd citadel," and many 
more, but Milton is from Johnson's point of view the great offender. 
Milton has " combustible and fuell'd entrails," " sceptred king,' 
"sceptred heralds," "sceptred pall," "banner'd host," "hurdled 
cotes," "bank damask'd with flowers," " volley'd thunder," 
** mooned horns," " rubied nectar," " precious vial*d liquors," 
"hehned heads," "pillar'd shade," "limb*d and full grown," 
"the helmed cherubim and sworded seraphim," "squadron'd 
angels," " tissued clouds," "timbrel'd anthems," " tower'd cities," 
" hone/d showers," " the bee with hone/d thigh," " storied 
windows," " tassell'd horn," " lilied banks," " a quiver'd nymph," 
•'nectar'd lavers," " nectar' d sweets," " vizor'd falsehood," and 
" mitred locks." Of the above, Keats has " honey'd," " nectar'd," 
"quiver'd" (a "quiver'd Dian"), " pillar'd," "damask'd" ("the 
tiger-moth's deep-damask'd wings "), " mooned " ("all her milder- 
mooned bod3r's grace "), and the " squadron'd " of Milton doubtless 
suggested his favourite " legion'd." From Collins (Highland Super- 
stitions) Keats probably took his "osier'd." Coleridge (Juvenile 
Sonnets, ii. and Ode to Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire) 
oiay have supplied ^him with " laurell'd." Coleridge (Monody 
to Chatterton) has "the cottaged dell"; Keats has the "citied 
earth," which Landor (Chrysaor) in his turn reproduces in the 
phrase " uncitied realms." The following participial adjectives are, 
so far as I know, peculiar to Keats: — "pinion'd multitude," 
** clodded earth," "maned lions," "toothed maws," "corniced 
shade," "cowslip'd lawns," "anguish'd days," "bunched leaves," 
"slabbed margin of a well," " mirror' d level," "mountain'd 
world," "fountain'd hill," "loamed ears," " pannier'd mules,'* 
*• linen smooth and lavender'd," "^cdled sleep," "torched mines," 
"woofed phantasies," "filmed clouds," " penanced lady elf," and 
** globed peonies." Of compound forms like " good-natured," 
to which the language appears to lend itself more easily, 
Keats has "golden-aisled," " tender-person' d," "fair-spaced," 
"deep-recessed," "tight-rooted," "droop-headed," "branch- 
charmed," " rich-ored," " far-foamed sands " (Cf. Milton's " wide- 

d 2 



xxxvi INTRODUCTION 

water'd shore"), ** soft-conched ear," and " sapphire-regionM 
star." 

So far, so good. It is hardly necessary to go back upon Lord 
Grenville's defence of these participial adjectives,* or to demonstrate 
that Keats has at most carried to an excess a usage, wherein Miltcxi 
was the real innovator, and which has been tolerably constant in 
our poetry since Milton's time. Of the greater English poets d 
this century Wordsworth is, perhaps, the only one who has not 
further enriched the poets* store of epithets either by borrowings in 
this kind from Milton, or by inventions of his own, and even 
Wordsworth has **a pillar'd shade" in those lines on the Yew- 
trees of Borrowdale, which are, perhaps, the most elaborate and 
pictorial he has written, and the most notable departure from the 
principles of the famous Essay. But Keats has not been so happily 
inspired when he has coined not merely participial adjectives, but 
real participles from existing nouns or adjectives. The *' moun- 
tain'd world " is well enough, but '* old Deucalion mountain'd o'er 
the flood," where the word has to be translated and expanded into 
**set on a mountain" is not so well. ** Sapphire-region'd star," 
is at least intelligible, but it hardly justifies so strange a phrase as 
** space region'd with life air." "A quiver'd Dian" will stand, 
but hardly ** proud-quiver'd loins" in the sense apparently of 
** proudly-quivering," and though there is a taking sonority in the 
word "architectured" as used by Keats — "It was architectured 
thus By the great Oceanus " — that is all that can be said for it. 
Much of the oddity of Keats' diction comes from these unhappy 
participles ; much of its richness and even beauty from the partici- 
pial adjectives which he has coined even more freely than Milton 
did before him. 

Spenser, Leigh Hunt, and Milton, these then are the three 
names which I think a student of Keats has constantly to bear in 
mind. Fletcher and Ben Jonson, in my opinion, hardly count. 
Keats had certainly read Fletcher's Faithful Shepherdess, and is 
alluding no doubt to that poem when he expresses the opinion that 
** in other of her (Mrs. Phillips') poems there is a most delicate 
* To be found in the pre£i£e to the Aldine edition of Gray, 



INTRODUCTION xxxvii 

fancy of the Fletcher kind." The well-known reference to the 
legend of Endymion in the first act of Fletcher's fairy drama is 
interesting in this connection. But it is not possible to point out 
any traces left by Fletcher in Keats* diction, and the most that can 
safely be said is that the ease and variety of the heroic couplet in 
Fletcher's hands had not passed unnoticed or unstudied by the 
younger poet. As for Ben Jonson, I believe his influence to have 
been absolutely nil. There are about a dozen beautiful lines— of a 
really exquisite beauty — in the Sad Shepherd. From these Keats 
has taken nothing, while from the rest of the poem there was 
nothing worth taking. Thomson had been read by Keats, as we 
know from a reference' to the Castle of Indolence in one of his 
letters ; but the only trace left by Thomson upon the text of Keats 
is to be found in the word ** clamant," probably taken by Keats 
from the older poet's Autumn. Of the poets of Keats' day, (over 
and above Leigh Hunt and Landor,). who had an influence not 
altogether inappreciable on his style, Byron and Wordsworth are the 
chief. Keats began with a youthful admiration for Byron, but as 
he grew older, though of course he felt the genius of the author of 
Don Juan, he does not seem to have esteemed either his character 
or his work. I think it probable, however, that the publication 
of Beppo had more to do with Keats' use of the ottava rima in 
Isabella, than his own direct study of the Italian poets. Frere, and, 
before Frere, Fairfax, had of course naturalised the stanza in 
English before Byron thought of Beppo, but the fact that Shelley's 
Ciuestion, Witch of Atlas, and lines On the Medusa of Leonardo 
da Vinci, were all written shortly after the appearance of Byron's 
poem, and at about the same time as Keats' Isabella, suggests that 
both poets had the same model before them, and that that model 
was Beppo. Wordsworth, Keats knew how to reverence, before it 
was the fashion to do so. He refers to him not only in the letters, 
but in the Sleep and Poetry — 

For sweet music has been heard 
In many places ; — some has been upstirr'd 
From out its crysul dwelling in a lake, 
By a swan's ebon bill— 



xxvui INTRODUCTION 

where he also makes it clear how heartily he took sides with 
Wordsworth against Pope ; and in the sonnet to Haydon — 

Great spirits now on earth are sojourning. 

But the subjective and moralising element in Wordsworth's woii 
was too large for the two poets to remain in abiding sympathy, 
and Keats once went so far as to express the heretical desire that 
Wordsworth ** had a little more taste." There are no such evident 
traces of the study of Wordsworth in Keats as are to be found 
in Shelley, in the first hundred lines for instance of Alastor, bat 
Meg Merrilies has a Wordsworthian tone in it, and there is a 
line in the early Sleep and Poetry, — "the blue bared its eternal 
bosom," — which may safely be referred to the '* yon sea that bares 
its bosom to the moon," of Wordsworth. Shakspere was read by 
Keats with a passionate ardour of admiration and delight, but the 
study of Shakspere hardly leaves other traces in a disciple's work 
than a general elevating and quickening of his matter and of his 
style. In the view of Keats, to know Shakspere was like knowing 
Nature. One was just as indispensable as the other. ** I am very 
near agreeing with Hazlitt," he writes, '* that Shakspere is enough 
for us ; " and again, ''Thank God, I can read, and perhaps under- 
stand, Shakspere to his depths." But the two most characteristic 
passages are those in which he asks, *' Which is the best of Shak- 
spere*s plays ? I mean in what mood and with what accompani- 
ment do you like the sea best ? " and that classification of things 
into *' things real, semi-real, and nothings ; things real, such as 
existences of sun, moon, and stars, and passages of Shakspere; 
things semi-real, such as love, the clouds, etc., which require a 
greeting of the spirit to make them wholly exist ; and nothings, 
which are made great and dignified by an ardent pursuit." One 
can say in a general way that Shakspere moulded Keats' mind as 
the English landscape moulded it, but there is hardly any direct 
imitation or adaptation of Shakspere in detail.* 

* It is perhaps worth mentioning, that the motto to Endymion, — *• the 
stretched metre of an antique song " — is taken from the 17th of Shakspere's 
sonnets. See Life and Letters, i. 70. No doubt also Keats took the word 



INTRODUCTION xxxix 

The case of Chaucer is different. Keats' study of Chaucer began 
early. Sundry allusions scattered through the letters and early 
poems show Keats to have been familiar with the Canterbury 
Tales, the Troilus and Creseide, and the minor poems. But he 
evidently had a special affection for a poem which Chaucerian 
students are now unanimous in denying to Chaucer — the Flowre 
and the Lefe. A motto from that poem is prefixed to the Sleep 
and Poetry, and one of the most charming of the early sonnets is 
that written at the end of the poem in the copy of Chaucer lent him 
by his friend Mr. Cowden Clarke, now in the hands — it could be in 
no better — of Mr. Alexander Ireland. The same poem probably 
supplied him with the word ** brede," as used by him in the Ode 
on a Grecian Urn, and as Collins used it before him in the Ode to 
Evening, and a comparison of Chaucer's — 

The knightes swelt (or lack of shade — 

with a line in Isabella — 

And for them many t weary hand did swelt 
In torched mines and noisy £ictories — 

probably suggests the true origin of a word which Keats picked out 
of Chaucer's text, and applied in a sense which was not the sense 
intended by the older poet. Another word which is certainly 
Chaucerian is the '* ghittem," in Isabella. But Chaucer's diction 
was not esteemed highly enough by Keats for him to draw 
largely from it. He considered that it was spoilt by Gallicisms, 
and anything rather than a well of English undefiled. Chaucer's 
versification had its influence upon Keats' work, but the influence 
came, I imagine, for the most part indirectly, filtered through Leigh 
Hunt. Keats is a child of the English Renaissance, ** an Eliza- 
bethan bom too late," as Mr. Matthew Arnold says ; he is not a 
child of the middle ages. 



** amort " (St. Agnes' Eve) from Shakcspcre, and the " pleach'd " of Endy. 
mion can be referred with tolerable certainty to Keats' study of Much Ado 
about Nothing. 



id INTRODUCTION 

One of the poets of that Renaissance with whom Keats early 
became acquainted, and who has had an influence, not always a 
good one, upon his style, is the poet, dramatist, and translator, 
a great but most unequal genius — George Chapman. Every one 
knows Keats' magnificent tribute to Chapman's memory, the sonnet 
On first looking into Chapman's Homer, and Mr. Cowden 
Clarke has told us, that indeed might have been made out from 
internal evidence, that Keats had studied not only Chapman's Iliad, 
but the Odyssey, and the Hymns. One trace of such study is to 
be found in Keats' fondness for compound adjectives. His ** chilly- 
finger'd spring " may safely be put beside Chapman's (Od. vi. i6i) 
"delicious-finger'd morning." Keats has "break-covert blood- 
hounds," Chapman (II. xiii. 440) has "strength-relying boar." 
Keats has ** oaks, branch-charmed by the earnest stars," which 
is queer enough English in all conscience,* but not so queer 
as Chapman's (D. xxiv. 307) " fair young prince, first-down 
chinn'd." One of Keats' favourite and curious words is the verb 
to " sphere." Thus in Endjrmion, — *' When this planet's sphering 
time shall close;" in Lamia, — "Twelve sphered tables, by silk 
seats insphered;" in Hjrperion — "Open thine eyes eteme, and 
sphere them round." A word could hardly be used in a more 
arbitrary and fantastical manner. Chapman, I fancy, supplied him 
with the word. Thus {Jl, xviii. 185) "a town is sphered with 
siege;" (II. xxii. 23), "sphered round with beams;" (Od. xviii. 
297), "that accomplished virtue sphered In my lov'd lord;" 
and (Od. xvii. 178), " He told me that an island did ensphei« 
. . . great Laertes' son." It will be seen that compared with 
the usage of Keats that of Chapman is regularity and simplicity 
itself. A singular licence in Keats' diction is the use of words as 
nouns, which outside his text are only known as verbs. Thus he 

* Cf. Lamia, part ii. aiy — 

Garlands of every green and every scent 

From vales deflower'd, or forest-trees branch-rent. 

Mr. Swinburne expresses this " branch-rent " differently and better in his 
" Undisbnnch'd of the storms that disroot us." 



INTRODUCTION xU 

has "voices of soft proclaim," "no mad assail," "with glad 
exdaim," " hush 1 no exclaim," " the amorous promise of her lone 
complain." In the same way Chapman (II. xi. 183) has "he 
breathed exhorts;" (II. xvi. 358) " pour'd on exhorts ;" (II. xiv. 314) 
"will suffer some appall," and (II. xxiv. 637) "exclaims began to 
all." A somewhat slipshod usage of Keats, noticed by Dante 
Rossetti with the words "alas! Cockneyish" is in fact previously 
employed not only by Chapman, but even Milton.* Keats has 
"Enceladus's eye," "Oceanus's lore." The doubling of the j is 
Qgly enough, but it is not necessarily Cockneyish. Milton has 
"ass's jaw," though elsewhere " Nereus' wrinkled look," and 
"Glaucus' spell," and Chapman (Od. viii. 359), whom Keats 
very possibly had in mind, has " and fetch Demodocus*s soundful 
lyre." 

But the traces which the study of Chapman has left upon Keats' 

diction are not exhausted by these slight details. Every reader of 

Keats must have noticed the frequent occurrence of rare, sometimes 

onprecedented adjectives in y. The soul of Dante Rossetti was so 

veied by some of these that he has written, opposite the line, 

"Now I begin to feel thine orby power," in his copy of En- 

dymion : — "*orby,' *sphery,' and all such forms are execrable, 

and disfigure the poem throughout." I may point out by the way 

that " sphery " has the authority both ot Shakspere and of Milton, 

though I by no means maintain that that fact is conclusive in its 

favour. Keats, however, has adjectives of this termination stranger 

than either of these. Besides " sphery " which occurs twice, and 

"orby," he has "lawny," "moonbeamy," "sunbeamy, 

"bloomy," "sluicy," "pipy," "streamy," "surgy," "spermy, 

"sea-loamy," " slumbery," "vapoury" (as well as "slumberous 

and "vaporous"), "towery," "bowery," "nervy," "ripply, 

"spangly," "paly," "scummy," "pillowy," "oozy," "wormy. 



it 
» 

>9 



• Sec Prof. Masson's edition of Milton's Poetical Works, iii. 172. Where 
Keats is really, perhaps, "Cockneyish" is in his use of such rhymes as <^ 
"^igEcr— TTuiIia,** «* water— shorter," " dawning— morning," ** eai^- 
Cytherea," *' monitors— laws," and Dante Rossetti might not unreasonably 
ba^e quarrelled with such an expression as " these like accents " in Hyperion. 



xlii INTRODUCTION 

"liny," "sparry," "fenny" and "rooty." They are indeed so 

numerous as to be a distina feature in Keats' style. Such adjec* 

tives are to be found in all the poets. Even Wordsworth has 

** branchy " and " foamy ; " Tennyson has " branchy," " bowery,*^ 

" towery," " firry," " piney," and " ripply." Shelley has "wormy," 

" piny," " oozy," " moony ; " Leigh Hunt has " piny," " glary," 

" flamy ; " Coleridge has " paly," " flamy," " beamy," " steamy," 

"elmy," "tressy," "lawny," "vapoury," and even "bladdery." 

"Paly" is also used by Raleigh and Collins, the latter of whom 

has moreover "viny" (Ode to the Passions); "sheety" (Ode 

to Evening); "gleamy" (Highland Superstitions). But the 

great inventors of such words before Keats were Milton, who has 

"sphery," " moory," "cany," "bloomy," "corny," "oozy," 

" bossy," " wormy," and " oary," and, above all. Chapman, whose 

afiection for this easy fashion of making epithets out of nouns 

amounts to a monomania. Chapman has "gleby" (II. iii. 8i), 

"planky" (D. xii. 422), "gulfy" (II. ii. $83 and often), "spiny" 

(II. iii. 161), "foody" (E. xi. 104), "orby" (H. iii. 357), "barlgr 

(D. xvi. 701), "rooty" (D. xvii. 654), "oxy" (U. iv. ijS) 

"nervy" (D. xvii. 253), "herby" (II. v. 39), "spurry" (II. xix. 

637), "cloddy" (n. V. 49), "plumy" (D. xii. isS),* "bossy" 

(U. xii. 161), "yoky" (D. xvii. 382), "shrubby" (II. xxii. i$8), 

"seedy" ("seedy reeds," II. xxiv. 402), "flainy" (II. vii. 69), 

"yieldy" (D. ix. 544), "foamy" (Od. iv. 541), "dwarfy" 

(Od. ix. 692), "cavy" (Od. ix. 57), "cliffy" (Od. x. J33), and 

"beamy" (Od. vi. 225). Coleridge's opinion of such forms 

may be gathered from the appearance in that sonnet f which 

he wrote " to excite a good-natured laugh ... at the recurrence 

of favourite phrases, with the double defect of being both trite and 

licentious," of the words "dampy" and "paly." There is not, 

of course, much to be said for such mere variants of established 

forms as these, but Coleridge's own practice shows that he felt the 

unreadiness of our tongue to form new adjectives to be a difficulty 

* Also used by Thomson — " The plumy people streak their wings with 
oU." 
t Biographia Literaria, i. 26. Pickering, 1847. 



ff 



INTRODUCTION xliii 

to a poet, and that he was glad to avail himself of almost any 
means of turning it. The ideal language for a poet to work in 
would be that in which there would be a corresponding adjective 
to every noun. The attempt of Chapman, Milton, Coleridge, and 
Keats to increase the epithet-power of our tongue by the simple 
expedient of adding the termination y to any and every noun 
has proved a failure. Experience has shown that they were 
working on lines not really congenial to the language. But 
the tendency of our tongue to stereotype itself, and to refuse 
a welcome to all but the most essential innovations is not a matter 
for satisfaction, and the strict limitations of this epithet-power 
have naturally provoked all kinds of efforts on the part of the 
poets, some well directed and some very much the contrary, to 
enlarge it. 

Another poet of Chapman's age, and indeed a friend and 
admirer of Chapman, who has left some trace on the poetry of 
Keats, is William Browne. A motto from Browne's Britannia's 
Pastorals (Book ii. song 5) is prefixed to the Epistles. I do not 
think that any one can read the lines of Browne,* beginning, 
"And as a lovely maiden pure and chaste," without being con- 
vinced that Keats had them in mind when he wrote the lines on 
Madeline in St. Agnes' Eve. The description of the priest of Pan 
in Britannia's Pastorals (Book i. song 4) beginning — 

As when a holy father hath began 
To offer sacrifice to mighty Pan, 

probably suggested some touches in the picture of the same per- 
sonage in the first book of Endymion. It is worth noting too that 
next to Leigh Hunt and perhaps Keats himself, no English poet 
abounds so greatly in dissyllabic rhymes as Browne. He has all 
Keats' passion for a fine phrase, and something of Keats' firm and 
rounded beauty of expression. What more charming picture of old 
England could there be than that suggested by — 

These homely towns 
Sweetly environed with the daisied downs — 



♦ Quoted in Ward's English Poets, ii. 74 



xUv INTRODUCTION 

and what could be more in harmony with Keats' manner ? I am 
persuaded that any one who reads Browne with attention will be 
convinced that Keats had read him with attention too. Keats* 
borrowings from Browne's diction are not many, but they are 
tolerably certain, and enough of themselves to prove this study. 
The very rare word **rillets," as used in Endjrmion of the river 
Alpheus, — " to run In amorous rillets down her shrinking form"— 
comes I fancy from Browne's — 

The water which in one pool hath abiding 
Is not so sweet as rillets ever gliding. 

Tennyson, who, in his turn, has ** diamond rillets musical," in his 
Recollections of the Arabian Nights, doubtless took the word from 
Keats. I have never been quite able to satisfy myself whether the 
word "boundly" — **my boundly reverence" (p. 57) — is or is not 
a mere misprint for "boundless." But I incline to believe that 
Keats really meant ** my bounden reverence," and formed this in- 
conceivable adjective somewhat on the model of a very vile phrase 
of Browne's (Book i. song 4) — " about the edges of whose roundly 
form." * The more reasonable, but still very rare word " writhen," 
is also probably to be traced to Browne. Keats has (Endymion, 
iii. 532)— 

For the whole herd as by a whirlwind writhen 

Went through the dismal air Uke one huge Python : — 

whence it appears that Keats pronounced the word wrongly, 
** writhen," with the 1 long. Now " writhen " is in reality good 
old English. "Writhen fist," in the sense of ** clenched," occurs, 
as Professor Skeat points out, in Piers Plowman, and both Chaucer 
and Milton, not to mention Tennyson, use it as an active verb. 
But we may be pretty sure that Keats did not take the word from 
Piers Plowman ; he took it, as I believe, from the " short writhen 
oaks " (Britannia's Pastorals, Book ii. song 3) of Browne. 
Only one poet whose study was of importance in Keats* poetic 

♦ Collins— Highland Superstitions — has " youthly." " Unwieldly ' is 
common in the seventeenth-century poets. 



INTRODUCTION xlv 

development remains to be discussed. This is the poet to whom 
Endymion is dedicated, whom Keats calls *^the purest writer 
in the English language, and the most English of poets except 
Shakspere" — ^Thomas Chatterton. But it is hardly necessary 
to go over ground which has already been so excellently covered. 
I need perhaps only say that I thoroughly agree with Mr. Theo- 
dore Watts' view* of "the entirely spiritual kinship " between 
Keats' St. Agnes' Eve and Chatterton's Ballad of Charity. It 
is only surprising, if we consider the enormous value set by Keats 
upon Chatterton's work in general, and his diction in particular, 
that direct traces of Chatterton's influence are not more numerous. 
But it is perhaps worth pointing out that the word "drear" of 
which Keats is so fond is, or was, frequent in the work of only one 
other poet, namely, Chatterton ; f that Chatterton has " oozy" and 
"paly," and that the attempt at old English at the end of the 
fragment on the Eve of Saint Mark, with its really modem 
phraseology and highly remarkable syntax, t was no doubt inspired 
by the bad example of the author of the Rowley Poems. 

In the course of the foregoing remarks, the greater number of 
the peculiarities of Keats' diction have been traced to some 
definite origin. The purely personal and arbitrary element in it 
turns out to be less than might easily be supposed. I know no 
parallel for the use of the verb "to cower" in an active sense — 
" nervy tails cowering their tawny brushes." I believe Keats in- 
vented the verb " to throe " — " winging along where the great water 
throes," and " Vesper, risen star, began to throe." He certainly 
invented the past participle " spreaded" — also " out-spreaded," and 

* See Ward's English Poets, ill. 402. 

t The word is also used three times by Coleridge, once in the fiimous 
line, "A grief without a pang, dark, void, and drear"; once at least by 
both Shelley and Tennyson ; and of late years has become comparatively 

common. 

X ** Its," which occurs in these lines, is not found in English before about 
1600. (Masson's edition of Milton's Poetical Works, iii. 178.) " Gif that 
themodre . . . Kepen " will not construe. " Crimped " is a thorgughly 
modem word. 



xlri INTRODUCTION 

*' wide-spreaded," — and a not particularly commendable invention 
it is. ** Sea-spry,'* as a variant of ** sea-spray," owes its origin, I 
fear, to nothing more respectable than the necessities of the rhyme. 
'*Psalterian" and **piazzian" are also inventions, but fairly good 
ones. '* Shelve," in the singular, I find only in Keats, and what 
Keats meant by **a Lampit rock" (unless, indeed, "lampit*' 
means nothing more than " limpet ") ♦ is yet to be discovered. By 
** far-spooming ocean" Keats doubtless means '* far-spunung," or 
"far-foaming" — he has adopted the word "spume" from Miltoo 
in anodier place-^and is evidently unconscious of the fact that the 
word " spooming" has a recognized place in English poetry, in a 
quite different sense, however, and is used by Dryden. The conclusion 
of the whole matter seems to be that Keats invented in accordance 
with analogy a good deal; for instance, that having Chapman's 
** spiny," and Collins' " viny " before him, he had no hesitation in 
producing " liny " — that he invented arbitrarily and without some 
such guide as this very little, and that most often he does not 
invent at all, but reproduces. 

Whether a poet does wisely in reproducing forgotten words to 
the extent to which it is done by Keats is another question. Gn^t 
defends the practice, but it is one which can only be condemned or 
justified in detail. Each word must prove its separate and in- 
dividual right to exist, and the presimiption, in cases where the 
word has been invented or exhumed, is not so much for it as 
against it. It is noteworthy that the unusual and far-fetched element 
in Keats' diction is strongest in his first volume, and weakest in 
the volume of 1820. In his most perfect work, the great odes and 
the best of the sonnets, there is no oddity at all. In the first volume, 
besides relying to an excessive extent upon Spenser and Leigh Hunt, 
Keats sometimes writes like a clever schoolboy. He does so even 
in Endymion. What can be worse than such a line as — 

O sweetest essence 1 sweetest of all minions ! » 



^ In this case the phrase, though odd, would perhaps not be odder than 
the '* atom darkness " of Isabella, stanza xli. 

t Works. Edited by Mason, i. 258. (Edition of 1807.) 



INTRODUCTION xlvii 

R 

\ by way of an address to Capid ? or the description of *' a nymph of 

1 Dian's"— 

Weaving t coronal of tender scions — 

which means, I imagine, that the nymph was making a wreath of 
flowers? or the apostrophe to sleep as — 

O magic sleep I O comfortable bird-~ 

; which is as a bad as the "exploratory bird" of Wordswordi? or 

i flie apostrophe of Circe to Glaucus as ** sea-flirt ! Young dove of 

! the waters I " or Glaucus' description of Scylla as ** timid thing? " 

Ihere is a kind of fond and foolish naivete in such expressions, a 

^mtastical baldness, which is by no means "a baldness full of 

i grandeur," such as out of Keats is to be found only in Leigh Hunt. 

How again is one to construe such an expression as "the tenting 

! swerve of knee from knee ?" • or — 

:' and blaze 

Of the dome pomp reflected in extremes 
Globing a golden sphere ? 

, I dwell upon such things because they make one understand what 
I Keats meant by saying that a certain critic was " quite right about 
I the * slip-shod Endymion.' " 

But there is litUe or no trace of this obscurity, and none at all 

of this immaturity and naif ingenuousness in Keats* later work, 
f His Endymion was his Lake Constance, into which his style ran 
I turbid and impure, with streaks of unassimilated and alien influence 

m it still plainly visible, but wherein it was gradually cleansed and 

• Endymion, ii. 400. But cf. the line in the Ode on p. 243 — ** Under- 
[ Death large blue-bells tented" — and Lamia, part ii. 178. 

' Each by a sacred tripod held aloft, 

Whose slender feet wide-swerved upon the soft 
Wool-woofed carpets. 

The passage in Endymion probably means that the knees had £allen apart, 
leaving a tent-like space. 



xlviu INTRODUCTION 

strengthened, emerging pure and beautiful at its close. The 

who wrote the great odes and the later sonnets and Lamia 

Isabella and St. Agnes* Eve, and much of H3rperion had the 

mand of one of the finest and most individual styles in the \ 

range of English poetry. Spenser, Chaucer, Chapman, M 

Leigh Hunt and many more had contributed each something t 

colour and depth and brightness of the stream. But ail 

tributaries had been in turn assimilated, their virtue extracted 

their beauty caught, till at the last we find the young poet w 

twenty-three was still capable of ** O sweetest essence ! sweet 

all minions '' shaping into words at twenty-five, that solenm i 

of— 

The moving waters at their priestlike task. 

Of pure ablution round earth's human shores — 

or interpreting the inmost beauty of the English landscape in 
lines to Autumn : — 

Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they ? 

Think not of them, thou hast thy music too, — 
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day, 

And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue ; 
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn 

Among the river sallows, borne aloft 

Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies ; 
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn ; 

Hedge-crickets sing ; and now with treble soft 

The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft ; 
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies. 



NOTE ON THE TEXT"" 



This edition of Keats^ PoeticMl Works does not contain every poem 
Vfritten, or even every poem published by Keats, At the same time it is 
not, in the ordinary sense of the word, a volume of selections. Every 
poem which appears in the three volumes of poetry published in Keats^ 
lifetime is here reprinted. But a strict selection is made among the 
poem which were either found in manuscript after his dtath, or which 
hoi been already printed in different periodicals, but not collected and 
issued in a permanent form. It is a little hard that all the verses, good, 
iod, or indifferent, which a poet may have written, should be brought 
^against him after his death, and my object has been to make such a 
selection among these posthumous poems as Keats would have made 
limelf. It has been my aim to omit nothing which contained even a 
Irau of Keats' finest manner. Thus the verses on Claude's Enchanted 
Castle, though perhaps interesting and significant enough to claim 
insertion on other and more general grounds, have a right to a place, 
if only for that lovely picture of the " untumultuous fringe of silver 
foam;" and the first draft of Hyperion^ though decidedly inferior 
to the great poem which was built upon it, yet contains blank verse of 
too large and rare an utter anu to allow an editor to pass it hy,^ Otho 

* This edition was arranged and planned in all its essential features in 1880, 
Its appearance has been delayed by unforeseen causes, of which the fire at the 
pf^bing offices was the chief. 

t Mr, l^jcbard Gamett writes that be has seen a MS. book, written by 
'^hard fToodbouse, " containing many particulars respecting Keats, and among 
^her things, unless I greatly mistake, the distinct statement that the Vision was 
'k second draft** This book was unfortunately burnt. Mr, Gamett is also 
i^clinei to '* contend for the later date of the Vision, even on critical grounds." 
^^' Gamett's judgment will weigh strongly with readers of Keats on such a 
P^» I confess, however, that, though the Vision abounds in beautiful things, 

e 



::c 



z J?/ r^ 



— ^ 




,/ Jiirf-^ .^ UiJ J.07M ins .*l^m. £jff ITmizj. fir 

:^ ^,j«- >,• i^.t Zap i^j^i jQiTKiii^ iJT, T :3arzs,y mstnuL* 

i^ovrt Yr/y/f' 'vr" i,«vj; Lort!:. 

.i*tt htfiKTfj I la K* Isrzs bai arrrtzTz^ s jcrr jmaat 
y-ff^i-m^ff^ 'i%r:nt Tumz^ ^./ret rporffa* tos wxTF usuL :o 
/ y^'v /f kvjcr'Tt :t ^Li^grtud It itoamu jx Jidorrr Jt jossime :i^-^ 
t^ ;.i^r}% -{^ti ifuuu -nmiiif n'srtmsibu. ^ratm :haz l a n c h he 
'^r'^'t w HAr i%f\t -^ulist nrmeif. I'm joemx if :hts: Miter 
ih^-^fyr.p j;9yunud fntti "ijt ^f!^^ md jrmiid it :iM ^nd if Jm 
)f^fi0^ iW, ??nerd u:U Jf " B^jsilmmoui pnams.^ T'lgr care 
y'l^ yffAirt^iK*U 'wigr^ excg^t iD jixT (Zr dm ^armets jre prCatal by 

r^^fi fyvf/f^ifr U\ He soit:^^ jmanq' the Jtlxrpaems^ ami LJmxx 
h^'.t M <(>^W^f the ex^imJoU set 3y Kats mtseif in, his ir^ 
th* ?/wtf^f^^ ffvM^rh /ifvary i m ^ dates, and an. mo yuu^ t frnnmiy . 
pwm /f /f^finfte (erJum hy themsehes. The rest of die vo^mm ts 
f^pyint, ^y/^pf u> far as cerUin mirmtije of speni-nq- 
f'^^^fr^M, f*j the thru mluimes pubiished at iSrj, iSi8, 

7hf f^i^^ fif Keali has hetm rdzTzcaslj maxntaxTud ; - - ^ 

h^ tftf^fy inid that ficihing can he wure atstird or htjarioms to f^ 
fir,fUf<tnfiftinff tff Keat/ work than to print Endymam first, is y^ 
hifh^fh hffft drms in the great majcrity of editions, aei to XbbK^ 
^n^h fM^OKuhmlnffi and anticipations of it as the Sleep ami PoOrff 
f filhUrfP, ami ** Places of nestling grem for poets weade," to foBoa, 
y A^ Hftfil^flllUm far thete first editions among the readers of Keats is, 1 
hm I'ftWfM, largely due, not merely to their rarity, or even to Mr 
flhMl fMimlfim with the poet, hut also to the fact that in themakmm 
Ih fiOMm lifhtu^mt rationally, and as Keats himself arranged them. A 





H fOfiu* hutth mii^hHihh to me that the introductory and, so to speak, expienOorj 
uiitHtt U mthithu Oh^hM l>fif# been added on second thoughts, whereas it is m 
Ih „H>„ hinut /.M./.,i/./|. rtNil natural that when the poet came to revise his fwf» 
h' fh„„f,l hiur himlH^i aiiil$ all this needless scaffolding, and plunged at mem 
<« • llm iM n. m mind also the slight textual differences hetween the Vism 
ii'^'l M.. h .t^mrHl in tK^xf /mimjffj which both poems have in common, are eJmut 
^it (•» hHk h^ f*v rti/t\tn^rt^»,. a^ thf latter. 



NOTE ON THE TEXT li 

|*'*]^'**«**«i of these origimd ibree volumes bos moreover convinced 
> ^o«^i& U is impossible to r^nt them verbatim ct [literatim. 



to he copied more closely than has been the case in the 
^Hlieve, for instance, that the very sparing use of notes of 
^ deliberate, and that the editors, by liberally peppering them 
'« have lost something of the unobtrusiveness ofKuitf manner. 
^^ -tion of the volumes is not impeccable, but it is seldom careless, 
T^ no* be d^arted from without good reason. In writing to 
^^^^^^ ohout the forthcoming Endymion, Keats says : '* Your 
. ^^-Hkes me as being a great improvement. And now I will 
^^^ punctuation you speak of. The comma should be at soberly, 
. ^^ other passages the comma should follow quiet." This does not 
^ ^^^^elessness about these matters. Among the pencil notes to Dante 
, _f ct^ of Keats ^ is an interesting suggestion which would not 
^^ fnade if that fine critic had had the first edition of Endymion 

***»n ai tbe time. He suggests that the stanza beginning '* I saw 
^^ ^gypt kneel down " (p. isj), should stop at the eleventh line, and 

^^ rtoic^ should begin with the line " Into these regions came /, 
J^ Hm," Now there really is a certain turn in the sense and 
^^ntbe verse at this point, and Rossetti's hint is a proof as well of 
' ^^ study of Keats as of his extraordinary delicacy of perception, 
^^ * reference to the first edition at once justifies the suggestion and puts 
^ of court. Keats has felt the break which Rossetti's fine ear felt, 
*» ks marked it to the eye by the use of a full stop and a dash. The 
^ is omitted by all the editors, but it really settles the point, Keats 
^iffted to mark a slight pause, but he did not want to begin a new 
w^0. Another point on which I have not thought it loss of time to 
tow some troulk is the final ^'ed." Thus, in line 40s of the second 
i of Endymion, Lord Houghton has — 

But rather giving them to thefilTd sight 
Officiously, 

the first edition has "filled," and I fed sure that "filled " is wJjot 

Now in the possession of Mr. W, A. Turner, who has very kindly put the 
me at my disposal for the purposes of this edition. Almost all *Rpssetti*s 
ginalia will be found in an admirable little paper contributed by Mr, George 
v«r io the Manchester Quarterly for fanuary^ 188 j. 



1 NOTE ON THE TEXT 

the Great, King Stephen, and the Ca^ and Bells, I have on the other 
hand considered myseif at liberty to neglect. Such poems as the Eve of 
St. Mark, La Bdle Dame sans Merci, the Thrush, the fragment Written 
on May- Day, and the Last Sonnet, are, of course, inserted. They rank 
among Keats' very finest work. 

But though I do not think that anything is here printed among the 
posthumous poems which Keats would not have liked to see remembered, 
I have yet thought it essential to separate as clearly as possible the work 
for winch Keats made himself responsible, from that which he did not 
print or did not collect himself. The poems of this latter class are 
therefore s^arated from the rest, and printed at the end of the volume, 
under the general title of " Posthumous Poems," They are printed in 
chronological order, except so far as the sonnets are printed by themselves, 
also, however, in that order. The sonnets gain too much from being 
read together to be scattered among the other poems, and I have thought it 
best to follow the example set by Keats himself in his first volume, when 
the sonnets, though of varying dates, and on varying themes, nevertheless 
form a definite section by themselves. The rest of the volume is an exact 
reprint, except so far as certain minutia of spelling and punctuation art 
concerned, of the thru volumes published in i8jy, i8t8, and iSio, 
The order of Keats has been religiously maintained; and it may 
be safely said that nothing can be more absurd or injurious to the 
understanding of Keats^ work than to print Endymion first, as has 
hitherto been done in the great majority of editions, and to leave 
such foreshadowings and anticipations of it as the Sleep and Poetry, 
Cdidore, and ** Places of nestling green for poets made," to follow. 
The competition for these first editions among the readers of Keats is, 1 
am persuaded, largely due, not merely to their rarity, or even to their 
direct connection with the poet, but also to the fact that in them alone are 
the poems arranged rationally, and as Keats himself arranged them, A 



it seems hardly conceivable to me that the introductory and, so to speak, explanatory 
matter it contains, should have been added on second thoughts, whereas it is on 
the other hand probable and natural that when the poet came to revise bis work 
be should have brushed aside all this needless scaffolding, and plunged at onu in 
medias res. To my mind also the slight textual differences between the Vision 
and the Fragment in thou passages which both poems haive in common, are almost 
invariably to the advantage of the latter. 



NOTE ON THE TEXT U 

dm examhuUion of these original thru volumes bos moreover convinced 
me that, (hough it is impossible to reprint them verbatim et [literatim, 
ib^yet deserve to he copied more closely than has been the case in the 
editions, I heJieve, for instance, that the very sparing use of notes of 
exclamation is deliberate, and that the editors, by liberally p^jpering them 
over the text, have lost something of the unobtrusiveness ofKeats^ manner. 
The punctuation of the volumes is not impeccable, but it is seldom careless, 
and should not be departed from without good reason. In writing to 
bis publisher about the forthcoming Endymion, Keats says : ** Your 
alteration strikes me as being a great improvement. And now I will 
attend to the punctuation you speak of. The comma should be at soberly, 
and in the other passages the comma should follow quiet." This does not 
lock like carelessness about these matters. Among the pencil notes to Dante 
RossettTs copy of Keats * is an interesting suggestion which would not 
have been made if that fine critic had had the first edition of Endymion 
before him at the time. He suggests that the stanT^a beginning " I saw 
Osirian Egypt kneel down " (p, isj), should stop at the eleventh line, and 
that a new stanza should begin with the line " Into these regions came 7, 
following him," Now there really is a certain turn in the sense and 
pause in the verse at this point, and Rossetti's hint is a proof as well of 
bis dose study of Keats as of his extraordinary delicacy of perception. 
But a reference to the first edition at once justifies the suggestion and puts 
it out of court. Keats has felt the break which Rossetti's fine ear felt, 
and bos marked it to the ^e by the use of a full stop and a dash. The 
dash is omitted by all the editors, but it really settles the point, Keats 
wanted to mark a slight pause, but he did not want to begin a new 
stanza. Another point on which I have not thought it loss of time to 
bestow some trouble is the final "ed" Thus, in line 40} of the second 
book of Endymion, Lord Houghton has — 

But rather giving them to thefilTd sight 
Officiously. 

But the first edUion has ''filled," and I fed sure that ''filled " is what 

^ Now m the possession of Mr. W. A. Turner, who has very kindly put the 
vdumt at my disposal for the purposes of this edition. Almost all *^ssetti's 
marginalia will be found in an admirable little paper contributed by Mr, George 
MUner to the Manchester Quarterly for fanuary, 188), 



lii NOTE ON THE TEXT 

Keats wrote. A more indubitable error is in the second hook of 
Hyperion, where Lord Houghton has — 

Tbeir clench' d Uetb stUl clench' d and all their limbs. 

It should of course he " their clenched teeth,'* as in the first edition* 
Only a few lines further on Lord Houghton has — 

Far from her moon had Pbahe wandered' 

Rossetti's ear sufficed to tell him tijat it should he "wandered," and 
in his copy of the poem be added the missing " e** It is of course 
'^ wandered" in the first edition. In the same hook of Hyperion 
occurs the line (as printed hy Lord Houghton) 



By noble wing*d creatures he hath made. 

It should of course he '* winged." In other more doubtful cases I have 
replaced the readings of the first edition. Thus, in the obscure passage 
in Sleep and Poetry, which contains, as I believe, an allusion to Byron, 
the first edition runs — 

These things are, doubtless ; yet in truth wive had 
Strange thunders from the potency of song ; 
Mingled indeed with what is sweet and strong 
From majesty : but in clear truth the themes 
Are ugly clubs, the Poets Polypbemes 
Disturbing the grand sea. 

Lord Houghton reads " cubs" for "clubs," and "poetf." But Keats 
is thinking of Odyssey ix. 481, foil., which he had read in Chapman's 
version, and he compares the poets he has in his mind to Polypljemes, wIjO 
utilise their subjects as the Cyclops utilised the rocks which he hurled 
against Vlysses. The reference to *' trees uptorn " a few lines further 
on sIjows the kind of thing Keats had in mind. The whole turn of 
expression is to the last degree vicious and far-fetched, hut Lord 
Houghton's alteration is certainly no improvement. In the case of other 
differences between the first form in which a poem appears and the form 
in which it is given in the Aldine edition, there is always the possibility 



KOTE ON THE TEXT Uii 

that Lord Houghton has had before him an improved copy of the poem in 

Keats's own handwriting. But in view of the fact that Lord Houghton 

has omitted altogether, and without notice, the third stanza of the little 

posthumous poem ''Where be you going, you Devon moid?** (first 

printed in Taylor's Life of Haydon), and with such an example before us 

as is furnished by Rossetti's emendations of Blake of the liberties which 

even the best of editors have alkwed themselves, I have thought it safer 

to adhere in every case to the readings either of the volumes of iSij, 

1818, and 1820, or (in the case of the posthumous poems) to those of 

the first edition of the Life and Letters,* In the little poem which is 

placed first among the posthumous poems in this edition — " Think not 

of it, sweet one, so " — these differences are not inconsiderable. In the 

caie of another postlmmous poem I have felt myself obliged to make an 

emendation of Lord Houghton's text. Tins is in the penultimate stanza 

^ihe lines To Fanny. Lord Houghton, both in the Life and Letters 

fl«i in the Aldine edition, prints the stanza as follows : — 

/ know it — and to know it is despair 

To one who loves you as I love, swut Fanny I 

Whose heart goes flutf ring for you everywhere. 

Nor when away you roam. 

Dare keep its wretched home, 
Love, love alone bis pains severe and many ; 

Then, loveliest I keep me free 

From torturing jealousy, 

I have put a colon at ''home,*' a semi-colon at "marry," and changed 

"hu" in thej^ line of the stanza to "has." 

Over and above these perhaps disputable points a reference to the first 
editions will correct the Aldine text in certain minor matters. 

Thus on p. 1/ (this edition) the Aldine text has "the joy out- 
springs," for "jay;" p. ly. the comma after "went by" is an 
addition which makes the passage unintelligibU ; p. ^6, " mad " is 
omitted before "ambition;" p. 99, "described" is printed for 
"descried;" p. J04, " tramelVd" for trammelVd;" p. 106, 
" claimant word" for " clamant ;" p. iij, "complexion of thy face" 

* A few obvious typographical blunders in the Life and Letters of course 
excepted. 



Uv NOTE ON THE TEXT 

for '* completion;*' p. 114, "while every eye saw me my hair 
uptying" for "eve" — a misprint which entirely ruins a charming 
picture;" p. up, " should please" for " shouldst ;" p. 147, "0 
shdl-lom king sublime " for shetUhorne ; " p. 181, ** sometimes " for 
"sometime;" p. 208, "straightened for " straitetCd;" p. 2^7, 
"soft-couched ear" for " soft-conchei ; " and p. 50/, "first green" 
for "first seen," and p. ^34 "month" for "mouth."* 

So far I have perhaps adduced some reasons for a more respectful 
treatment of the text of the first editions. But as this edition is not and 
does not profess to he an exact r^rint of that text, it is incumbent on me 
to show how and why I have departed from it. In the first place I have 
modernised such spellings as "ballancing" " clift," "stedfast," 
"chacing" "lymnings," "choaJdng," " prophecyings," " hlythe," 
"lillies," "gulph" (substantive), " griesly," " centinet," "kyrtled," 
"lythe," "tythe," "pannels," "fiaggon," " ha:(le," "cyder," and 
"farewel.' I am quite aware that in so doing I sacrifice something. 
These spellings are not absolutely insignificant. Many of them on the 
contrary are taken from the older poets, Spenser above all, with whom 
Keats was most familiarly acquainted, and are either deliberate^ or^ 
if unconscious, even more significant, as showing the extent to which 
his mind was steeped in the diction of his favourite writers. 
Spenser always spells "stedfast," "chacing," "UUy," and "griesly." 
"Ballance" occurs twice in the Faerie Queene; "clift" for "cliff," 
seven times in the same poem; " Myth " occurs four times in the Faerie 
Queene, and " hlythe " once in Virgil's Gnat ; " hlyth " occurs onu 
in Virgil's Gnat and once in the Shepherd's Calender; "gulph" 
is the regular usage of all the older poets, and even litters on in Landor ; 
"centinel," or "centonel," is the spelling both of Spenser, and of a 
less known poet whom I believe Keats to have studied carefully, fVilliam 
Browne, If the usage of Keats were consistent, it would be a nice point 
for an editor whether these spellings should be retained. But though 
"ballancing," occurs in Calidore, we have "balance" at the end of 
Sleep and Poetry, in the same volume of 1817, and "balances" in the 

^ On p, 61 (this edition) Lord Houghton alters "liny** to "liney,** 
Tennyson also (CEnone) spells ** piney,** But the spelling is against all analogy, 
and though "liny** does not occur elsewhere, both Leigh Hunt and Shelley 
have "piny,** 



99 



NOTE ON THE TEXT W 

fnttHtuM of Endymum (Book 11. 644). *'Clift" occurs inibe first 

uHtion of ibe Epistle to my Brother George, ha everywhere else Keats 

ipdls "clijf." ''Choakittg" occurs in the first edition of Sleep and 

Poetry, but ** choking" in the first edition of Endymum (ii. )i8), and 

"choke" in Lamia, "Qjodng" is used in Sleep and Poetry and 

in the first edition of Endymion (Hi, 140); but in the very same book 

of the same poem (Hi, S93)^^ *«*« ''^ chase." "Blythe" occurs in 

Endymion (ii. 9) 9), but elsewhere in the same poem (Hi. is8) we have 

"Hithly," while " bUtbe" is used in the twenty-first stanza of ibe first 

edition of Isabella, and towards tbt end of the third book of Hy- 

perion. So also we find the spellings "honor" as well as "honour," 

" splendour " and " splendor," "spherey" and "s^bery," "naught" 

and "nought" "canvass" and "canvas," "ought" and "aught, 

" sdsm " and "schism," " ancle " and " ankle," " lilies " and " Ullies, 

"crystaline" and "crystalline," "kyrtle" and "kirtle," " ba^el" and 

"ha^," " chesnuts " and " chestnuts," "chaunting " and " chanted," 

"farewel"and " farewdl," "loath" and "loth," "Aurorian" and 

" Aurorean." With this variety in view, I have not hesitated to adopt 

the only logical and consistent plan, that of modernising the spelling 

throughout. 

Apart from these points of spelling, the following readings of the first 
editions are obviously untenable. The sonnet to Kosciusko as first 
printed was — 

And now it tells me that in worlds unknown 
The names of heroes hurst from clouds concealing. 
And changed to harmonies Jor ever stealing 

Through cloudless blue, and round each silver throne. 

Lord Houghton is undoubtedly right in reading "are changed" &c. 
In the first edition of Sleep and Poetry occur the lines — 

JTill not some say . , , . 

That whining boyhood should with reverence bow 

Ere the dread thunderbolt could reach ? How /— 



it is difficult not to concur with Lord Houghton's insertion of "me" after 
"reach." In Endymion, Hi, 8iy, "though" should U "though;" 
in iv. SSh " ^ " should probably be "led; " in iv. 6^6, "too " should 



Ivi NOTE ON THE TEXT 

of course he''to" ; and in iv. 960, "I" should he ''he." All theu 
changes are made in the Aldine edition of Lord Houghton, J have also \ 
followed Lord Houghton in chafing the word " lighten " in the lines 
on the sunset (EndynUon, I, S47~SS^) — 

And I could witness bis most kingfy hour, 
JFben be dotb ligbten up tbe golden reins. 
And paces leisurely down amber plains 
His snorting four — 

to '* tighten." The somewhat parallel passage in Endymion, it. /2/ — 

Soon were tbe wbite doves plain, witb necks stretcVd out 
And silken traces ligbten'd in descent — 

makes the change perhaps less certain than it would otherwise appear. 
But it is difficult to see what sense can he given to the '* up " in the 
first passage, if " lighten " is retained. There are also a few necessary 
changes of punctuation which 1 have followed Lord Houghton in making. 
But it is clear that^ all taken together, these changes do not amount to 
much, and the reader may ful assured that, apart from them, and apart 
from the modernisation of the spelling, he has in this edition as exact 
a reprint as possible of the precious volumes of 18 ij, 1818, and 1820. 

The portrait prefixed to this edition is an etching by Mr. S. H, 
Llewellyn, after a painting by Wm, Hilton, R. A,, based on a miniature 
by Joseph Severn, The painting is in the National Portrait Gallery, 
having been purchased by the Trustees in March, 186 j ; its dimensions 
are 2 feet / inches by 2 feet. 

My best thanks are due for help and advlu of different kinds in 
the preparation of this edition to Mr, Richard Garnett, Mr. Alexander 
Ireland, and Mr, St» Loe Strachey, 



THE yOLUME OF 1817 



mal BHrifiluily can fall to truUtat 
Tbwi la tigaj dtlighl tuitb littrtj ? 

" Fall of tbt ButUrfly."—SPBSSBR, 



TO LEIGH HUNT, ESQ. 

Glory and loveliness have pass'd away ; 

For if we wander out in early mom, 

No wreathed incense do we see upborne 
-into the east, to meet the smiling day : 
2lo crowd oj nymphs soft voiced and young and gay. 

In woven baskets bringing ears of com, 

Roses, and pinks, and violets, to adorn 
The shrine of Flora in her early May. 
But there are left delights as high as these. 

And I shall ever bless my destiny, 
That in a time when under pleasant trees 

Pan is no longer sought, I feel a free, 
A leafy luxury, seeing I could please 

With these poor offerings, a man like thu. 



B 2 



The Slvrt Pitas in the middle of the Book, as vxll as some of ' 
Sonnets, wtre written at an earlier period ihast the rest of ' 
Poemt. 



Places of nestling green for poets made. 

— *' Story of Rimini. 

1 STOOD tip-toe upon a little hill, 
The air was cooling, and so very still, 
That the sweet buds which with a modest pride 
Pull droopingly, in slanting curve aside. 
Their scantly leaved, and finely tapering stems, 
Had not yet lost those starry diadems 
Caught from the eariy s^bing of the mom. 
The clouds were pure and white as flocks new shorn, 
And fresh from the dear brook ; sweetly they slept 
On the blue fields of heaven, and then there crept 
A little noiseless noise among the leaves. 
Bom of the very sigh that silence heaves : 
For not the faintest motion could be seen 
Of all the shades that slanted o'er the green. 
There was wide wandering for the greediest eye. 
To peer about upon variety ; 
Far round the horizon's crystal air to skim. 
And trace the dwindled e^g;ings of its brim ; 
To picture out the quaint and curious bending 
Of a fresh woodland alley, never ending ; 
Or by the bowery clefts, and leafy shelves. 
Guess where the jaunty streams refresh themselves. 
I gazed awhile, and felt as light and firee 
As though the fanning wings of Mercury 
Had pla/d upon my heels : I was light-hearted, 
And many pleasures to my vision started ; 



THE VOLUME OF I8I7 

So I straightway began to pluck a posy 
Of luxuries bright, milky, soft, and rosy. 

A bush of May flowers with the bees about them ; 
Ah, sure no tasteful nook would be without them ; 
And let a lush laburnum oversweep them. 
And let long grass grow round the roots to keep them 
Moist, cool and green ; and shade the violets, 
That they may bind the moss in leafy nets. 

A filbert hedge with wild briar overtwined. 
And clumps of woodbine taking the soft wind 
Upon their summer thrones ; there too should be 
The frequent chequer of a youngling tree, 
That with a score of light green brethren shoots 
From the quaint mossiness of aged roots : 
Round which is heard a spring-head of clear waters. 
Babbling so wildly of its lovely daughters. 
The spreading blue bells : it may haply mourn 
That such fair clusters should be rudely torn 
From their fresh beds, and scatter*d thoughtlessly 
By infant hands, left on the path to die. 

Open afresh your round of starry folds. 
Ye ardent marigolds I 

Dry up the moisture from your golden lids. 
For great Apollo bids 

That in these dajrs your praises should be sung 
On many harps, which he has lately strung ; 
And when again your dewiness he kisses, 
Tell him, I have you in my world of blisses : 
So haply when I rove in some far vale, 
His mighty voice may come upon the gale. 

Here are sweet peas, on tip-toe for a flight : 
With wings of gentle flush o*er delicate white, 
And taper fingers catching at all things. 
To bind them all about with tiny rings. 



Linger awhile upon some bending planks 
That lean against a streamlet's rushy banks, 
.And watch intently Nature's gentle doings : 
They will be found softer than ring-dove's cooings. 
How silent comes the water round that bend ; 
Not the minutest whisper does it send 
To the o'erhanging sallows : blades of grass 
Slowly across the chequer'd shadows pass. 
Why, you might read two sonnets, ere they reach 
To where the hurrying freshnesses aye preach 
A natural sermon o'er their pebbly beds ; 
Where swarms of minnows show their little heads, 
Staying their wavy bodies 'gainst the streams, 
To taste the luxury of sunny beams 
Temper'd with coolness. How they ever wrestle 
With their own sweet delight, and ever nestle 
Their silver bellies on the pebbly sand. 
If you but scantily hold out the hand, 
That very instant not one will remain ; 
But turn your eye, and they are there again. 
The ripples seem right glad to reach those cresses, 
And cool themselves among the em'rald tresses ; 
The while they cool themselves, they freshness give, 
And moisture, that the bowery green may live : 
So keeping up an interchange of favours. 
Like good men in the truth of their behaviours. 
Sometimes goldfinches one by one will drop 
From low hung branches ; little space they stop ; 
But sip, and twitter, and ^eir fearers sleek ; 
Then off at once, as in a wanton freak : 
Or perhaps, to show their black, and golden wings, 
Pausing upon their yellow fiutterings. 
Were I in such a place, I sure should pray 
That nought less sweet might call my thoughts away, 
Than the soft nistle of a maiden's gown 
Fanning away the dandelion's down ; 
Than the light music of her nimble toes 
Patting against the sorrel as she goes. 



8 THE VOLUME OF I8I7 

How she would start, and blush, thus to be cau^ 

Playing in all her innocence of thought. 

O let me lead her gently o*er the brook, 

Watch her half-smiling lips, and downward look ; 

O let me for one moment touch her wrist ; 

Let me one moment to her breathing list ; 

And as she leaves me, may she often turn 

Her fair eyes looking through her locks aubume. 

What next ? A tuft of evening primroses, 
0*er which the mind may hover till it doxes ; 
O'er which it well might take a pleasant sleep. 
But that 'tis ever startled by the leap 
Of buds into ripe flowers ; or by the flitting 
Of diverse moths, that aye their rest are quitting ; 
Or by the moon lifting her silver rim 
Above a cloud, and with a gradual swim 
Coming into the blue with all her light. 
O Maker of sweet poets, dear delight 
Of this fair world, and all its gentle livers ; 
Spangler of clouds, halo of crystal rivers, 
Mingler with leaves, and dew and tumbling streams. 
Closer of lovely eyes to lovely dreams. 
Lover of loneliness, and wandering. 
Of upcast eye, and tender pondering I 
Thee must I praise above all other glories 
That smile us on to tell delightful stories. 
For what has made the sage or poet write 
But the fair paradise of Nature's light ? 
In the caUn grandeur of a sober line, 
We see the waving of the mountain pine ; 
And when a tale is beautifully staid. 
We feel the safety of a hawthorn glade : 
When it is moving on luxurious wings. 
The soul is lost in pleasant smotherings : 
Fair dewy roses brush against bur faces. 
And flowering laurels spring from diamond vases ; 
O'er head we see the jasmine and sweet briar, 



And bloomy grapes laughing from green attire; 
While at oar feet, the voice of crystal bubbles 
Charms us at once away from all our troubles : 
So that we feel uplifted from the world, 
Walking upon the white clouds wreathed and curl'd. 
So felt he, who first told how Psyche went 
On the smooth wind to realms of wonderment ; 
What Psyche felt, and Love, when their full lips 
First touchM ; what amorous and fondling nips 
They gave each other's cheeks ; with all their sighs, 
And how they kist each other's tremulous eyes : 
The silver lamp, — the ravishment — the wonder — 
The darkness, — loneliness, — the fearful thunder ; 
Their woes gone by, and both to heaven upfiown. 
To bow for gratimde before Jove's throne. 
So did he fed, who puU'd the boughs aside, 
That we might look into a forest wide. 
To catch a glimpse of Fauns, and Dryades 
Coming with softest rustle through the trees ; 
And garlands woven of flowers wild, and sweet. 
Upheld on ivory wrists, or sporting feet : 
Telling us how fair trembling Syrinx fied 
Arcadian Pan, with such a fearful dread. 
Poor nymph, — poor Pan, — how he did weep to find 
Nought but a lovely sighing of the wind 
Along the reedy stream ; a half heard strain. 
Full of sweet desolation — balmy pain. 

What first inspired a bard of old to sing 
Narcissus pining o'er the untainted spring ? 
In some delicious ramble, he had found 
A little space, with boughs all woven round ; 
And in die midst of all, a clearer pool 
Than e'er reflected in its pleasant cool 
The blue sky, here and there serenely peeping. 
Through tendril wreaths fantastically creeping. 
And on the bank a lonely flower he spied, 
A meek and forlorn flower, with nought of pride, 



lo THE VOLUME OF I8I7 

Drooping its beauty o'er the watery clearness, 
To woo its own sad image into nearness : 
Deaf to light Zeph3mis, it would not move ; 
But still would seem to droop, to pine, to love. 
So while the Poet stood in this sweet spot. 
Some fainter gleamings o'er his fancy shot ; 
Nor was it long ere he had told the tale 
Of young Narcissus, and sad Echo's bale. 

Where had he been, from whose warm head out-fltf 
That sweetest of all songs, that ever new, 
That aye refreshing, pure deliciousness. 
Coming ever to bless 

The wanderer by moonlight ? to him bringing 
Shapes from the invisible world, unearthly singing 
From out the middle air, from flowery nests, 
And from the pillowy silkiness that rests 
Full in the speculation of the stars. 
Ah I surely he had burst our mortal bars ; 
Into some wond'rous region he had gone. 
To search for thee, divine Endymion I 

He was a Poet, sure a lover too, 
Who stood on Latmus' top, what time there blew 
Soft breezes from the myrtle vale below ; 
And brought, in faintness solemn, sweet, and slow, 
A hymn from Dian's temple ; while upswelling, 
The incense went to her own starry dwelling. 
But though her face was clear as infant's eyes. 
Though she stood smiling o'er the sacrifice, 
The Poet wept at her so piteous fate. 
Wept that such beauty should be desolate : 
So in flne wrath some golden sounds he won, 
And gave meek Cynthia her Endymion. 

Queen of the wide air ; tliou most lovely queen 
Of all the brighmess that mine eyes have seen 1 



II 



hs thou exceedest all things in thy shine, 
So every tale, does this sweet tale of thine. 
for three words of honey, that I might 
Tell but one wonder of thy bridal night 1 

Where distant ships do seem to show their keels, 
Phoebus awhile dela/d his mighty wheels. 
And tum'd to smile upon thy bashful eyes, 
Ere he his unseen pomp would solenmize. 
The evening weather was so bright, and clear. 
That men of health were of unusual cheer ; 
Stepping like Homer at the trumpet's call. 
Or young Apollo on the pedestal : 
And lovely women were as fair and warm 
As Venus looking sideways in alarm. 
The breezes were ethereal, and pure. 
And crept through half closed lattices to cure 
The languid sick ; it cool'd their fever*d sleep. 
And soothed them into slumbers full and deep. 
Soon they awoke clear eyed : nor burnt with thirsting. 
Nor with hot fingers, nor with temples bursting : 
And springing up, they met the wondering sight 
Of their dear friends, nigh foolish with delight ; 
Who feel their arms, and breasts, and kiss, and stare. 
And on their placid foreheads part the hair. 
Yoimg men and maidens at each other gazed 
With hands held back, and motionless, amazed 
To see the brightness in each other's eyes ; 
And so they stood, fill'd with a sweet surprise, 
Until their tongues were loosed in poesy. 
Therefore no lover did of anguish die : 
But the soft numbers, in that moment spoken, 
Made silken ties, that never may be broken. 
Cynthia 1 I cannot tell the greater blisses. 
That foUow'd thine, and thy dear shepherd's kisses : 
Was there a Poet bom ? — but now no more, 
My wandering spirit must no further soar. — 



SPECIMES OF AS IXDUCTIOS TO A FOEM 

LO ! I msst teO a taJc of diivalrT; 
For l2rge white p^mnes are <i?Tv-mg in miiie eye. 
Not liie dse fbrnul crest of Una davs : 
Bot beniing in a thoosand gracefol wavs; 
So graceful, that it seems do mortal hand. 
Or e en the tooch of Archimago's wand. 
Could charm them into such an attitode. 
We most think rather, that in playful mood 
Some moamain breeze had tnm'd its chief delight 
To show this wonder of its gende mi^t. 
Lo 1 I most tell a tale of chivalry ; 
For while I muse, the lance points slantingly 
Athwart the morning air : some lady sweet. 
Who cannot fled for cold her tender feet. 
From the worn top of some old battlement 
Hails it with tears, her stout defender sent : 
And from her own pure self no joy dissembling. 
Wraps round her ample robe with happy trembling. 
Sometimes, when the good Knight his rest would tike. 
It is reflected, clearly, in a lake, 
With the young ashen boughs, 'gainst which it rests. 
And the half seen mossiness of linnets' nests. 
Ah I shall I ever tell its cruelty, 
When the fire flashes from a warrior's eye, 
And his tremendous hand is grasping it. 
And his dark brow for very wrath is knit? 
Or when his spirit, with more calm intent. 
Leaps to the honours of a tournament. 
And makes the gazers round about the ring 
Stare at the grandeur of the balancing ? 



SPECIMEN OF AN INDUCTION TO A POEM 1 3 

No, no 1 this is far off: — then how shall I 
Revive the dying tones of minstrelsy, 
Which linger yet about lone gothic arches, 
In dark green ivy, and among wild larches ? 
How sing the splendour of the revelries. 
When butts of wine are drunk off to the lees ? 
And that bright lance, against the fretted wall, 
Beneath the shade of stately banneral. 
Is slung with shining cuirass, sword, and shield ? 
Where ye may see a spur in bloody field. 
Light-footed damsels move with gentle paces 
Round the wide hall, and show their happy faces ; 
Or stand in courtly talk by fives and sevens : 
Like those hli stars that twinkle in the heavens. 
Yet must I tell a tale of chivalry : 
Or wherefore comes that knight so proudly by ? 
Wherefore more proudly does the gentle knight 
Rein in the swelling of his ample mig^t ? 

Spenser I thy brows are arched, open, kind. 
And come like a clear sun-rise to my mind ; 
And always does my heart with pleasure dance. 
When I think on thy noble countenance : 
Where never yet was aught more earthly seen 
Than the pure freshness of thy laurels green. 
Therefore, great bard, I not so fearfully 
Gdl on thy gentle spirit to hover nigh 
My daring steps : or if thy tender care. 
Thus startled unaware, 
Be jealous that the foot of other wight 
Should madly follow that bright path of light 
Traced by thy loved Libertas ; he will speak. 
And tell thee tliat my prayer is very meek ; 
That I will follow with due reverence, 
And start with awe at mine own strange pretence. 
Him thou wilt hear ; so I will rest in hope 
To see wide plains, fair trees, and lawny slope : 
The mom, the eve, the light, the shade, the flowers ; 
Gear streams, smooth lakes, and overlooking towers. 




CALIDORE 
A Fragment 

YOUNG Calidore is paddling o'er the lake ; 
His healthful spirit eager and awake 
To feel the beauty of a silent eve, 
Which seem'd full loth this happy world to leave ; 
The light dwelt o'er the scene so lingeringly. 
He bares his forehead to the coolblue sky. 
And smiles at the far clearness all around, 
Until his heart is well high over wound. 
And turns for calmness to the pleasant green 
Of easy slopes, and shadowy trees that lean 
So elegantly o'er the waters' brim 
And show their blossoms trim. 
Scarce can his clear and nimble e3re-sight follow 
The freaks and dartings of the black-wing'd swallow. 
Delighting much to see it, half at rest, 
Dip so refreshingly its wiogs and breast 
'Gainst the smooth surface, and to mark anon 
The widening circles into nothing gone. 

And now the sharp keel of his little boat 
Comes up with ripple and with easy float. 
And glides into a bed of water lilies : 
Broad leaved are they, and their white canopies 
Are upward tum'd to catch the heavens' dew. 
Near to a little island's point they grew ; 
Whence Calidore might have the goodliest view 



CAUDORE 15 

Of this sweet spot of earth. The bowery shore 
Went off in gentle windings to the hoar 
And light blue mountains : but no breathing man, 
With a warm heart, and eye prepared to scan 
Nature's clear beauty, could pass lightly by 
Objects that look'd out so invitingly 
On either side. These, gentle Calidore 
Greeted, as he had known them long before. 

The sidelong view of swelling leaEness, 
Which the glad setting sun in gold doth dress 
Whence, ever and anon, the jay outsprings, 
And scales upon the beauty of its wings. 

The lonely turret, shattered and outworn. 
Stands venerably proud ; too proud to mourn 
Its long lost grandeur : fir trees grow around, 
Aye dropping their hard fruit upon the ground. 

The little chapel, with the cross above. 
Upholding wreaths of ivy ; the white dove. 
That on the windows spreads his feathers light, 
And seems from purple clouds to wing its flight. 

Green tufted islands casting their soft shades 
Across the lake ; sequestered leafy glades, 
That through the dimness of their twilight show 
Large dock leaves, spiral foxgloves, or the glow 
Of the wild cat's eyes, or the silvery stems 
Of delicate birch trees, or long grass which hems 
A little brook. The youth had long been viewing 
These pleasant things, and heaven was bedewing 
The mountain flowers, when his glad senses caught 
A trumpet's silver voice. Ah 1 it was fraught 
With many jo3rs for him : the warder's ken 
Had found white coursers prancing in the glen : 
Friends very dear to him he soon will see ; 
So pushes off his boat most eagerly, 
And soon upon the lake he skims along. 



i6 THE VOLUME OF I8I7 

Deaf to the nightingale's first under-song ; 

Nor minds he the white swans that dream so i»wt^ ^^W^' 

His spirit flies before him so completely. 

And now he turns a jutting point of land. 
Whence may be seen the castle gloomy and grand 
Nor will a bee buzz round two swelling peaches, 
Before the point of his light shallop reaches 
Those marble steps that through the water dip : 
Now over them he goes with hasty trip, 
And scarcely stays to ope the folding doors : 
Anon he leaps along the oaken floors 
Of halls and corridors. 

Delicious sounds I those little bright-eyed things 
That float about the air on azure wings. 
Had been less heartfelt by him than the clang 
Of clattering hoofs ; into the court he sprang. 
Just as two noble steeds, and palfreys twain, 
Were slanting out their necks with loosen'd rein ; 
While from beneath the threatening portcullis 
They brought their happy burthens. What a kiss. 
What gentle squeeze he gave each lady's hand ! 
How tremblingly their delicate ankles spann'd 1 
Into how sweet a trance his soul was gone. 
While whisperings of affection 
Made him delay to let their tender feet 
Come to the earth ; with an incline so sweet 
From their low palfreys o'er his neck they bent : 
And whether there were tears of languishment» 
Or that the evening dew had pearl'd their tresses, 
He feels a moisture on his cheek, and blesses. 
With lips that tremble, and with giisteoing eye. 
All the soft luxury 

That nestled in his arms. A dimpled hand, 
Fair as some wonder out of fairy land. 
Hung from his shoulder like the drooping flowers 
Of whitest Cassia, fresh from summer showers : 



CAUDORE 17 

-^d this he fondled with his happy cheek, 
-A if for joy he would no further seek : 
"^Vhen the kind voice of good Sir Qerimond 
Came to his ear, like something from beyond 
His present being : so he gently drew 
3iis warm arms, thrilling now with pulses new. 
From their sweet thrall, and forward gently bending, 
Thank'd heaven that his joy was never ending ; 
While 'gainst his forehead he devoutly pressed 
A hand heaven made to succour the distressed ; 
A hand that from the world's bleak promontory 
Had lifted Calidore for deeds of glory. 

Amid the pages, and the torches' glare. 
There stood a knight, patting the flowing hair 
Of his proud horse's mane : he was withal 
A man of elegance, and stature tall : 
So that the waving of his plumes would be 
High as the berries of a wild ash tree. 
Or as the winged cap of Mercury. 
His armour was so dexterously wrought 
In shape, that sure no living man had thought 
It hard, and heavy steel : but that indeed 
It was some glorious form, some splendid weed. 
In which a spirit new come from the skies 
Might live, and show itself to human eyes. 
Tis the far-famed, the brave Sir Gondibert, 
Said the good man to Calidore alert ; 
While the young warrior with a step of grace 
Came up, — a courtly smile upon his face, 
And mailed hand held out, ready to greet 
The large-eyed wonder, and ambitious heat 
Of the aspiring boy ; who as he led 
Those smiling ladies, often tum'd his head 
To admire the visor arch'd so gracefully 
Over a knightly brow ; while they went by 
The lamps that from the high-roof d hall were pendent, 
And gave the steel a shining quite transcendent. 

r ^ 



i8 THE VOLUME OF I8I7 

Soon in a pleasant chamber they are seated. 
The sweet-lipp'd hulies have akeady greeted 
All the green leaves that round the window clamber, 
To show their purple stars, and bells of amber. 
Sir Gondibert has dotiPd his shining steel. 
Gladdening in the £ree and airy feel 
Of a light mande ; and while Qerimond 
Is looking round about him with a fond 
And pladd eye, young Calidore is burning 
To hear of Imighdy deeds, and gallant spuming 
Of all unworthiness ; and how the strong of arm 
Kept off dismay, and terror, and alarm 
From lovely woman : while brimfid of this. 
He gave each damsel's hand so warm a kiss. 
And had such manly ardour in his eye. 
That each at other lookM half staringly ; 
And then their features started into smiles 
Sweet as blue heavens o'er enchanted isles. 

Softly the breezes from the forest came. 
Softly they blew aside the taper's flame ; 
Qear was the song from Philomel's far bower ; 
Grateful the incense from the lime-tree flower ; 
Mysterious, wild, the far heard trumpet's tone ; 
Lovely the moon in ether, all alone : 
Sweet too the converse of these happy mortals. 
As that of busy spirits when the portals 
Are closing in the west ; or that soft humming 
We hear around when Hespenis is coming. 
Sweet be their sleep. ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ 



70 SOME LADIES 

^^ I THAT though, while the wonders of nature exploring, 
^ » V I cannot your light, mazy footsteps attend ; 
for listen to accents, that almost adoring, 
filess Cynthia's face, the enthusiast's friend : 

^et over the steep, whence the mountain stream rushes, 
With you, kindest friends, in idea I rove ; 

the clear tumbling crystal, its passionate gushes. 
Its spray that the wild flower kindly bedews. 

^^Vhy linger you so, the wild lab)ninth strolling ? 

Why breathless, unable your bliss to declare ? 
-^Ui 1 you list to the nightingale's tender condoling. 

Responsive to sylphs, in the moon beamy air. 

^Tis mom, and the flowers with dew are yet drooping, 
I see you are treading the verge of the sea : 

^^nd now 1 ah, I see it — you just now are stooping 
To pick up the keep-sake intended for me. 

Jf a cherub, on pinions of silver descending, 

Had brought me a gem from the fret-work of heaven ; 

And smiles, with his star-cheering voice sweetly blending, 
The blessings of Tighe had melodiously given ; 

It had not created a warmer emotion 

Than the present, fair nymphs, I was blest with from you ; 
Than the shell, from the bright golden sands of the ocean. 

Which the emerald waves at your feet gladly threw. 

For, indeed, 'tis a sweet and peculiar pleasure, 
(And blissful is he who such happiness finds,) 

To possess but a span of the hour of leisure 
In elegant, pure, and aerial minds. 

c 2 



ON RECEIVING A CURIOUS SHELL, AND A COPY Of 
VERSES, FROM THE SAME LADIES 

HAST thou from the caves of Golconda, a gem 
Pure as the ice-drop that froze on the mountain } 
Bright as the humQiing-bird's green diadem, 
When it flutters in sun-beams that shine through a fonntais 

Hast thou a goblet for dark sparkling wine ? 

That goblet right heavy, and massy, and gold ? 
And splendidly mark'd with the story divine 

Of Armida the fair, and Rinaldo the bold ? 

Hast thou a steed with a mane richly flowing ? 

Hast thou a sword that thine enemy*s smart is ? 
Hast thou a trumpet rich melodies blowing? 

And wear'st thou the shield of the famed Britomartis? 

What is it that hangs from thy shoulder, so brave. 
Embroidered with many a spring peering flower ? 

Is it a scarf that thy fair lady gave ? 
And hastest thou now to that fair lady's bower ? 

Ah ! courteous Sir Knight, with large joy thou art crown'd 
Full many the glories that brighten thy youth I 

I will tell thee my blisses, which richly abound 
In magical powers to bless and to soothe. 



ON RECEIVING A CURIOUS SHELL 21 

On this scroll thou seest written in characters fair 
A sun-beamy tale of a wreath, and a chain ; 

And, warrior, it nurtures the property rare 
Of charming my noind from the trammels of pain. 

This canopy mark : 'tis the work of a fay ; 

Beneath its rich shade did King Oberon languish, 
When lovely Titania was far, far away, 

And cruelly left him to sorrow and anguish. 

There, oft would he bring from his soft sighing lute 

Wild strains to which, spell-bound, the nightingales listenM 

The wondering spirits of heaven were mute. 

And tears 'mong the dewdrops of morning oft glistenM. 

In this little dome, all those melodies strange. 
Soft, plaintive, and melting, for ever will sigh ; 

Nor e'er will the notes from their «:endemess change ; 
Nor e'er will the music of Oberon die. 

So, when I am in a voluptuous vein, 

I pillow my head on the sweets of the rose. 
And list to the tale of the wreath, and the chain, 

Till its echoes depart ; then I sink to repose. 

Adieu, valiant Eric I with joy thou art crown'd ; 

Full many the glories that brighten thy youth, 
I too have my blisses, which richly abound 

In magical powers to bless and to soothe. , 



719 • • • • 

HADST thou lived in days of old, 
O what wonders had been told 
Of thy lively countenance, 
And thy humid eyes, that dance 
In the midst of their own brightness. 
In the very fane of lightness. 
Over which thine eyebrows, leaning. 
Picture out each lovely meaning : 
In a dainty bend they lie, 
Like to streaks across the sky, 
Or the feathers from a crow, 
Fallen on a bed of snow. 
Of thy dark hair, that extends 
Into many graceful bends : 
As the leaves of Hellebore 
Turn to whence they sprung before. 
And behind each ample curl 
Peeps the richness of a pearl. 
Downward too flows many a tress 
With a glossy waviness ; 
Full, and round like globes that rise 
From the censer to the skies 
Through sunny air. Add too, the sweeti 
Of thy honied voice ; the neatness 
Of thine ankle lightly tum'd : 
With those beauties scarce discem'd. 
Kept with such sweet privacy. 
That they seldom meet the eye 
Of the little loves that fly 
Round about with eager pry. 
Saving when, with freshening lave. 



TO * * * ^ 33 

*rhou dipp'st them in the taintless wave ; 
like twin water lilies, born 
In the coolness of the mom. 
O, if thou hadst breathed then, 
Now the Muses had been ten. 
Couldst thou wish for lineage higher 
Than twin sister of Thalia ? 
At least for ever, evermore, 
Will I call the Graces four. 

Hadst thou lived when chivalry 
Lifted up her lance on high, 
Tell me what thou wouldst have been ? 
Ah I I see the silver sheen 
Of thy broider'd, floating vest 
Covering half thine ivory breast ; 
Which, O heavens 1 I should see, 
But that cruel destiny 
Has placed a golden cuirass there, 
Keeping secret what is fair. 
Like sunbeams in a cloudlet nested. 
Thy locks in knightly casque are rested : 
O'er which bend four milky plumes 
Like the gentle lily's blooms 
Springing from a costly vase. 
See with what a stately pace 
Comes thine alabaster steed ; 
Servant of heroic deed 1 
O'er his loins, his trappings glow 
Like the northern lights on snow. 
Mount his back 1 thy sword unsheath I 
Sign of the enchanter's death ; 
Bane of every wicked spell ; 
Silencer of dragon's yeU. 
Alas 1 thou this wilt never do : 
Thou art an enchantress too, 
And wilt surely never spill 
Blood of those whose eyes can kill. 




TO HOPE 

WHEN by my solitary hearth I sit, 
And hateful thoughts enwrap my soul in 
When no fair dreams before my ** mind*s eye" flit, 

And the bare heath of life presents no bloom ; 
Sweet Hope, ethereal balm upon me shed. 
And wave thy silver pinions o*er my head. 

Whene'er I wander, at the fall of night. 

Where woven boughs shut out the moon's bright ray, 
Should sad Despondency my musings fright. 

And frown, to drive fair Cheerfulness away, 
Peep with the moon-beams through the leafy roof. 
And keep that fiend Despondence far aloof. 

Should Disappointment, parent of Despair, 
Strive for her son to seize my careless heart ; 

When, like a cloud, he sits upon the air. 
Preparing on his spell-bound prey to dart : 

Chase him away, sweet Hope, with visage bright, 

And fright him, as the morning frightens night ! 

Wliene'er the fate of those I hold most dear 
Tells to my fearful breast a tale of sorrow, 

O bright-eyed Hope, my morbid fancy cheer ; 
Let me awliile thy sweetest comforts borrow : 

Thy heaven-bom radiance around me shed, 

And wave thy silver pinions o'er my head I 



m; 



TO HOPE 25 

ould e*er unhappy love my bosom pain, 

From cruel parents, or relentless fair ; 

let me think it is not quite in vain 

To sigh out sonnets to the midnight air ! 
Sweet Hope, ethereal balm upon me shed, 
^And wave thy silver pinions o*er my head 1 

In the long vista of the years to roll, 

Let me not see our country's honour fade : 

O let me see our land retain her soul, 

Her pride, her freedom ; and not freedom's shade. 

From thy bright eyes unusual brightoess shed — 

Beneath thy pinions canopy my head 1 

Let me not see the patriot's high bequest, 
Great Liberty I how great in plain attire I 

With the base purple of a court oppress'd. 
Bowing her head, and ready to expire : 

But let me see thee stoop from heaven on wings 

That fill the skies with silver glitterings I 

And as, in sparkling majesty, a star 

Gilds the bright summit of some gloomy cloud ; 
Brightening the half veil'd face of heaven afar : 

So, when dark thoughts my boding spirit shroud, 
Sweet Hope, celestial influence round me shed, 
Waving thy silver pinions o*er my head. 



IMITATION OF SPENSER 



NOW Morning from her orient chamber came, 
And her first footsteps touch'd a verdant hill ; 
Crowning its lawny crest with amber flame. 
Silvering the untainted gushes of its rill ; 
Which, pure from mossy beds, did down distil, 
And after parting beds of simple flowers. 
By many streams a little lake did fill. 
Which round its marge reflected woven bowers, 
And, in its middle space, a sky that never lowers. 

There the king-fisher saw his plumage bright, 
Vying with fish of brilliant dye below ; 
Whose silken fins* and golden scales* light 
Cast upward, through the waves, a ruby glow : 
There saw the swan his neck of arched snow. 
And oar*d himself along with majesty ; 
Sparkled his jetty eyes ; his feet did show 
Beneath the waves like Afric's ebony. 
And on his back a fay reclined voluptuously. 

Ah 1 could I tell the wonders of an isle 
That in that fairest lake had placed been, 
I could e*en Dido of her grief beguile ; 
Or rob from aged Lear his bitter teen : 
For sure so fair a place was never seen, 
Of all that ever charm'd romantic eye : 
It seem*d an emerald in the silver sheen 
Of the bright waters ; or as when on high, 
Through clouds of fleecy white, laughs the coenilean sky. 



IMITATION OF SPENSER 

•^nd an around it dipp'd luxuriously 

Sjopings of verdure through the glossy tide, 
AVhich, as it were in gentle amity, 
Stippled delighted up the flowery side ; 
As if to glean the ruddy tears it tried, 
Which fell profusely from the rose-tree stem 
Haply it was the workings of its pride. 
In strife to throw upon the shore a gem 
*^^^tvying all the buds io Flora's diadem. 



WOMAN ! when I behold thee flippant, vain, 
Inconstant, childish, proud, and full of fancies ; 

Without that modest softening that enhances 
The downcast eye, repentant of the pain 
That its mild light creates to heal again ; 

£*en then, elate, my spirit leaps and prances, 

E'en then my soul with exultation dances, 
For that to love, so long, I've dormant lain : 
But when I see thee meek, and kind, and tender, 

Heavens ! how desperately do I adore 
Thy winning graces ; — to be thy defender 

I hotly bum — to be a Calidore — 
A very Red Cross Knight — a stout Leander — 

Might I be loved by thee like these of yore. 

Light feet, dark violet eyes, and parted hair ; 

Soft dimpled hands, white neck, and creamy breast. 

Are things on which the dazzled senses rest 
Till the fond, fixed eyes forget they stare. 
From such fine pictures, heavens ! I cannot dare 

To turn my admiration, though unpossess'd 

They be of what is worthy, — though not drest 
In lovely modesty, and virtues rare. 
Yet these I leave as thoughtless as a lark ; 

These lures I straight forget, — e'en ere I dine, 
Or thrice my palate moisten : but when I mark 

Such charms with mild intelligences shine, 
My ear is open like a greedy shark, 

To catch the tunings of a voice divine. 




^9 



f who can e'er forget so fair a being ? 
"Who can forget her half retiring sweets ? 
God 1 she is like a milk-white lamb that bleats 
or man's protection. Surely the All-seeing, 
^^/ho joys to see us with his gifts agreeing, 
Will never give him pinions, who intreats 
Snch innocence to ruin, — who vilely cheats 
^ dove-like bosom. In truth there is no freeing 
One's thoughts from such a beauty ; when I hear 

A lay that once I saw her hand awake, 
^er form seems floating palpable, and near ; 

Had I e'er seen her from an arbour take 
A dewy flower, oft would that hand appear, 
And o'er my eyes the trembling moisture shake. 



EPISTLES 



Among the rest a sbepbeard (ibougb but young 
Yet bartned to bis pipe) witb all tbe skOl 
His few yeeres could, began to fit Ins quill. 

" Britannia^ s Pastorals/'-'BROWin 

TO GEORGE FELTON MATHEW 

SWEET are the pleasures that to verse belong. 
And doubly sweet a brotherhood in song ; 
Nor can remembrance, Mathew 1 bring to view 
A fate more pleasing, a delight more true 
Than that in which the brother Poets jo/d, 
Who, with combined powers, their wit emplo/d 
To raise a trophy to the drama's muses. 
Tbe thought of this great partnership diffuses 
Over the genius loving heart, a feeling 
Of all that's high, and great, and good, and healing. 

Too partial friend ! fain would I follow thee 
Past each horizon of fine poesy ; 
Fain would I echo back each pleasant note. 
As o*er Sicilian seas clear anthems float 
*Mong the light skimming gondolas far parted, 
Just when the sun his farewell beam has darted : 
But 'tis impossible ; far different cares 
Beckon me sternly from soft ** Lydian airs,' 
And hold my faculties so long in thrall. 
That I am oft in doubt whether at all 



» 



TO GEORGE FELTON MATHEW 

*■ shall again see Phcebus in the mornmg : 
^^^^T flush'd Aurora in the roseate dawning I 
C^r a \rbite Naiad in a tippling stream ; 
CI>r a rapt seraph in a moonligbt beam ; 
Or again mtness what with thee I've seen, 
Tlie dew by fairy feet swept from the green. 
After a night of some quaint jubilee 
'Wliich every elf and fay had come to see : 
'^^en bright processions took thdr airy march 
Beneath the curved moon's triumphal arch. 

But might 1 now each passing moment give 
To the coy muse, with me she would not live 
la this dark city, nor would condescend 
*Mid contradictions her delights to lend. 
Should e'er the fine-eyed maid to me be kind. 
Ah I snrely it must be whene'er I find 
Some flowery spot, sequester' d, wild, romantic, 
That often must iiave seen a poet firantic ; 
Where oaks, that eist the Druid knew, are growing. 
And flowers, the glory of one day, are blowing ; 
Where the dark-leaved labomum's drooping dusters 
Reflect athwart the stream their yellow lustres, 
And intertwined the cassia's arms unite. 
With its own drooping buds, but very white. 
Where on one side are covert branches bung, 
'Mong which the nightingales have always sung 
In leafy quiet; where to pry, aloof, 
Atween the pillars of the sylvan roof. 
Would be to find where violet beds were nestling. 
And where the bee with cowslip bells was wrestling. 
There must be too a ruin dark and gloomy. 
To say " joy not too much in all that's bloomy." 

Yet thb is vain— O Mathew I lend thy aid 
To find a place where I may greet the maid — 
Where we may soft humanity put on. 
And sit, and rhyme, and think on Chatterton \ 



32 THE VOLUME OF I8I7 

And that warm-hearted Shakspeare sent to meet him 
Four laurellM spirits, heaven- ward to entreat him. 
With reverence would we speak of all the sages 
Who have left streaks of light athwart their ages : 
And thou shouldst moralise on Milton's blindness. 
And mourn the fearful dearth of human kindness 
To those who strove with the bright golden wing 
Of genius, to Hap away each sting 
Thrown by the pitiless world. We next could tell 
Of those who in the cause of freedom fell ; 
Of our own Alfred, of Helvetian Tell ; 
Of him whose name to every heart's a solace, 
High-minded and unbending William Wallace. 
W^hile to the rugged north our musing turns. 
We well might drop a tear for him, and Bums. 

Felton 1 without incitements such as these. 
How vain for me the niggard Muse to tease : 
For thee, she will thy every dwelling grace. 
And make *' a sun-shine in a shady place : " 
For thou wast once a flow'ret blooming wild. 
Close to the source, bright, pure, and undefiled. 
Whence gush the streams of song : in happy hour 
Came chaste Diana from her shady bower. 
Just as the sun was from the east uprising ; 
And, as for him some gift she was devising 
Beheld thee, pluck'd thee, cast thee in the stream 
To meet her glorious brother's greeting beam. 
I marvel much that thou hast never told 
How, from a flower, into a fish of gold 
Apollo changed thee : how thou next didst seem 
A black-eyed swan upon the widening stream ; 
And when thou first didst in that mirror trace 
The placid features of a human face : 
That thou hast never told tliy travels strange, 
And all the wonders of the mazy range 
O'er pebbly crystal, and o'er golden sands ; 
Kissing thy daily food from Naiads' pearly hands. 



TO MY BROTHER GEORGE 

trJLL many a dreary hour have I past, 
'^ My brain bewilder'd, and my mind o'ercast 
^^th heaviness ; in seasons when I've thought 
)^o spheiy strains by me could e'er be caught 
Prom the blue dome, though I to dimness gaze 
On the far depth where sheeted lightning plays ; 
Or, on the wavy grass outstretch'd supinely. 
Pry 'mong the stars, to strive to think divinely : 
Tliat I should never hear Apollo's song, 
Though feathery clouds were floating all along 
The purple west, and, two bright streaks between. 
The golden lyre itself were dimly seen : 
That the still murmur of the honey bee 
Would never teach a rural song to me : 
That the bright glance from beauty's eyelids slanting 
Would never make a lay of mine enchanting, 
Or warm my breast with ardour to unfold 
Some tale of love and arms in time of old. 

But there are times, when those that love the bay. 
Fly from all sorrowing far, far away ; 
A sudden glow comes on them, nought they see 
In water, earth, or air, but poesy. 
It has been said, dear George, and true I hold it, 
(For knightly Spenser to Libertas told it,) 
That when a Poet is in such a trance, 
In air he sees white coursers paw, and prance, 

D 



34 THE VOLUME OF I8I7 

Bestridden of gay knights, in gay apparel, 

Who at each other tilt in playful quarrel ; 

And what we, ignorantly, sheet-lightning call. 

Is the swift opening of their wide portal. 

When the bright warder blows his trumpet clear^ . 

Whose tones reach nought on earth but Pc^^^^ 

ear. 
When these enchanted portals open wide, 
And through the light the horsemen swiftly glid^^ 
The Poet's eye can reach those golden halls, 
And view the glory of their festivals : 
Their ladies fair, that in the distance seem 
Fit for the silvering of a seraph's dream ; 
Their rich brimm'd goblets, that incessant run. 
Like the bright spots that move about the sun ; 
And, when upheld, the wine from each bright jar 
Pours with the lustre of a falling star. 
Yet further off are dimly seen their bowers. 
Of which no mortal eye can reach the flowers ; 
And 'tis right just, for well Apollo knows 
'Twould make the Poet quarrel with the rose. 
All that's reveal'd from that far seat of blisses. 
Is, the clear fountains' interchanging kisses. 
As gracefully descending, light and thin. 
Like silver streaks across a dolphin's fin. 
When he upswinunetli from the coral caves. 
And sports with half his tail above the waves. 

These wonders strange he sees, and many more. 
Whose head is pregnant with poetic lore. 
Should he upon an evening ramble fare 
With forehead to the soothing breezes bare. 
Would he nought see but the dark, silent blue. 
With all its diamonds trembling through and through ? 
Or the coy moon, when in the waviness 
Of whitest clouds she does her beauty dress. 
And staidly paces higher up, and higher, 
Like a sweet nun in holy-day attire ? 



TO MY BROTHER GEORGE « 

X^* y^ I much more would start into his sight— 
,^^^^ revelries and mysteries of night : 
^^ ^ should I ever see them, I will tell you 

^ tales as needs must with amazement spell you. 

^ "Aese are the living pleasures of the bard : 

^Vit richer far posterity's award. 

y^HiSLt does he murmur with his latest breath, 

^(^lile his proud eye looks through the film of 
death? 

* * What though I leave this dull and earthly mould, 

'Vet shall my spirit lofty converse hold 

'With after times.— The patriot shall feel 

N(y stem alarum, and unsheath his steel ; 

Or in the senate thunder out my numbers. 

To startle princes ft^om their easy slumbers. 

The sage will mingle with each moral theme 

My happy thoughts sententious ; he will teem 
AVith lofty periods when my verses fire him, 
And then TU stoop from heaven to inspire him. 
X^ys have I left of such a dear delight 
That maids will sing them on their bridal night. 
Gay villagers, upon a mom of May, 
When they have tired their gentle limbs with play, 
And form'd a snowy circle on the grass. 
And placed in midst of all that lovely lass 
Who chosen is their queen, — with her fine head 
Crowned with Bowers purple, white and red : 
For there the lily and the musk-rose, sighing. 
Are emblems tme of hapless lovers dying : 
Between her breasts, that never jret felt trouble, 
A bunch of violets full blown, and double. 
Serenely sleep : — she firom a casket takes 
A little book, — and then a joy awakes 
About each youthftil heart, — with stified cries, 
And robbing of white hands, and sparkling eyes : 
For she's to read a tale of hopes and fears ; 
One that I foster'd in my youthful years : 

D 2 



j6 THE VOLUME OF I8I7 

The pearls, that on each glistening circlet sleep. 

Gush ever and anon with silent creep, 

Lured by the innocent dimples. To sweet rest 

Shall the dear babe, upon its mother's breast. 

Be lull'd with songs of mine. Fair world, adieu 1 

Thy dales and hills are fading from my view : 

Swiftly I mount, upon wide spreading pinions. 

Far from the narrow bounds of thy dominions. 

Full joy I feel, while thus I cleave the air, 

That my soft verse will charm thy daughters £air. 

And warm thy sons 1 " Ah, my dear friend and brother, 

Could I, at once, my mad ambition smother, 

For tasting joys like these, sure I should be 

Happier, and dearer to society. 

At times, 'tis true, I've felt relief from pain 

When some bright thought has darted through my brain: 

Through all that day I've felt a greater pleasure 

Than if I'd brought to light a hidden treasure. 

As to my sonnets, though none else should heed them, 

I feel ddighted, still, that you should read them. 

Of late, too, I have had much calm enjoyment, 

Stretch'd on the grass at my best loved employment 

Of scribbling lines for you. These things I thought 

While, in my face, the freshest breeze I caught. 

E'en now I'm pillow'd on a bed of flowers 

That crowns a lofty cliff, which proudly towers 

Above the ocean-waves. The stalks and blades 

Chequer my tablet with their quivering shades. 

On one side is a field of drooping oats. 

Through which the poppies show their scarlet coats ; 

So pert and useless, that they bring to mind 

The scarlet coats that pester human-kind. 

And on the other side, outspread, is seen 

Ocean's blue mantle, streak'd with purple and green. 

Now 'tis I see a canvass'd ship, and now 

Mark the bright silver curling round her prow. 

I see the lark down-dropping to his nest. 

And the broad wing'd sea-gull never at rest ; 



TO MY BROTHER GEORGE 



37 



For when no more he spreads his feathers free, 
His hreast is dancing on the restless sea. 
Now I direa my eyes into the west, 
Which at this moment is in sunbeams drest : 
Why westward turn ? Twas but to say adieu I 
Twas but to kiss my hand, dear George, to you 1 



TO CHARLES COWDEN CLARKE 

OFT have you seen a swan superbly frowning, 
And with proud breast his own white sha 
crowning ; 
He slants his neck beneath the waters bright 
So silently, it seems a beam of light 
Come from the galaxy : anon he sports, — 
With outspread wings the Naiad Zephyr courts, 
Or rufHes all the surface of the lake 
In striving from its crystal face to take 
Some diamond water drops, and them to treasure 
In milky nest, and sip them o£f at leisure. 
But not a moment can he there ensure them, 
Nor to such downy rest can he allure them ; 
For down they rush as though they would be free. 
And drop like hours into eternity. 
Just like that bird am I in loss of time. 
Whene'er I venture on the stream of rhyme ; 
With shattered boat, oar snapt, and canvas rent, 
I slowly sail, scarce knowing my intent ; 
Still scooping up the water with my fingers, 
In which a trembling diamond never lingers. 

By this, friend Charles, you may full j^nly see 
Why I have never penn*d a line to thee : 
Because my thoughts were never free and clear. 
And little fit to please a classic ear ; 
Because my wine was of too poor a savour 




TO CHARLES COWDEN CLARKE 39 

or one whose palate gladdens in the flavour 

sparkling Helicon : — small good it were 
o take him to a desert rude and bare, 
^^^o had on Baiae's shore reclined at ease, 
AVhile Tasso's page was floating in a breeze 
*That gave soft music from Armida's bowers, 
^Mingled with fragrance from her rarest flowers : 
Small good to one who had by MuUa's stream 
Fondled the maidens with the breasts of cream ; 

Who had beheld Belphoebe in a brook, 

And lovely Una in a leafy nook. 

And Archimago leaning o'er his book : 

Who had of all that's sweet tasted, and seen. 

From silvery ripple, up to beauty's queen ; 

From the sequester'd haunts of gay Titania, 

To the blue dwelling of divine Urania : 

One who of late had ta'en sweet forest walks 

With him who elegantly chats and talks — 

The wrong'd Libertas — who has told you stories 

Of laurel chaplets, and Apollo's glories ; 

Of troops chivalrous prancing through a city^ 

And tearful ladies, made for love and pity : 

With many else which I have never known. 

Thus have I thought ; and days on days have flown 

Slowly, or rapidly — unwilling still 

For you to try my dull, unlearned quill. 

Nor should I now, but that I've known you long; 

That you first taught me all the sweets of song : 

The grand, the sweet, the terse, the free, the fine ; 

What swell'd with pathos, and what right divine : 

Spenserian vowels that elope with ease. 

And float along like birds o'er summer seas ; 

Miltonian storms, and more, Miltonian tenderness ; 

Michael in arms, and more, meek Eve's fair slenderness. 

Who read for me the sonnet swelling loudly 

Up to its climax, and then d3dng proudly ? 

Who found for me the grandeur of the ode. 

Growing, like Atlas, stronger from its load ? 



40 THE VOLUME OF I8I7 

Who let me taste that more than cordial dram, 

The sharp, the rapier-pointed epigram? 

Show'd me that epic was of all the king, 

Round, vast, and spanning all like Saturn's ring ? 

You too upheld the veil from Clio's beauty, 

And pointed out the patriot's stem duty ; 

The might of Alfred, and the shaft of Tell; 

The hand of Brutus, that so grandly fell 

Upon a t3n:ant's head. Ah I had I never seen 

Or known your kindness, what might I have been? 

What my enjo)rments in my youthful 3rears, 

Bereft of all that now my life endears ? 

And can I e'er these benefits forget ? 

And can I e'er repay the friendly debt ? 

No, doubly no ; — yet should these rh3rmings please, 

I shall roll on the grass with two-fold ease ; 

For I have long time been my fancy feeding 

With hopes that you would one day think the 

reading 
Of my rough verses not an hour misspent ; 
Should it e'er be so, what a rich content 1 
Some weeks have pass'd since last I saw the spires 
In lucent Thames reflected : — warm desires 
To see the sun o'er peep the eastern dimness, 
And morning shadows streaking into slinmess 
Across the lawny fields, and pebbly water ; 
To mark the time as they grow broad, and shorter ; 
To feel the air that plays about the hills. 
And sips its freshness from the little rills ; 
To see high, golden com wave in the light 
When Cynthia smiles upon a summer*s night, 
And peers among the cloudlet's jet and white, 
As though she were reclining in a bed 
Of bean blossoms, in heaven freshly shed. 
No sooner had I stepp'd into these pleasures 
Than I began to think of rhymes and measures ; 
The air that floated by me seem'd to say 
** Write! thou wilt never have a better day," 



TO CHARLES COWDEN CLARKE 41 

^^ $0 I did. When many lines I'd written, 
^t)ugfa with their grace I was not oversmitten, 
I, as my hand was warm, I thought I'd better 
ist to my feelings, and write you a letter. 
h an attempt required an inspiration 
a peculiar sort, — a consunmiation ; — 
ichy had I felt, these scribblings might have been 
ses from which the soul would never wean ; 
many days have past since last my heart 
s wann'd luxuriously by divine Mozart ; 
Ame delighted, or by Handel madden'd ; 
by the song of Erin pierced and sadden'd : 
tat time you were before the music sitting, 
i the rich notes to each sensation fitting. 
ce I have walk'd with you through shady lanes 
at freshly terminate in open plains, 
d revell'd in a chat that ceased not, 
lien at night-fall, among your books we got : 
), nor when supper came, nor after that, — 
IT when reluctantly I took my hat ; 
S nor till cordially you shook my hand 
d-way between our homes : — ^your accents bland 
11 sounded in my ears, when I no more 
luld hear your footsteps touch the gravelly floor, 
metimes I lost them, and then found again ; 
u changed the footpath for the grassy plain, 
those still moments I have wish'd you joys 
lat well you know to honour: — "Life's very toys, 
ith him," said I, ** will take a pleasant charm ; 
cannot be that aught will work him harm." 
lese thoughts now come o'er me with all their might :— 
;ain I shake your hand, — ^friend Charles, good night. 



SONNE TS 



TO MY BROTHER GEORGE 



MANY the wonders I this day have seen : 
The sun, when first he kist away the tears 

That fill'd the eyes of mom ;-^the laurell'd peers 
Who from the feathery gold of evening lean ; — 
The ocean with its vastness, its blue green, 

Its ships, its rocks, its caves, its hopes, its fears,— 

Its voice mysterious, which whoso hears 
Must think on what will be, and what has been. 
E*en now, dear George, while this for you I write, 

Cynthia is from her silken curtains peeping 
So scantly, that it seems her bridal night. 

And she her half-discover'd revels keeping. 
But what, without the social thought of thee. 
Would be the wonders of the sky and sea ? 



SONNETS 43 



TO 



HAD I a man's fair form, then might my sighs 
Be echoed swiftly through that ivory shell, 
Thine ear, and find diy gentle heart ; so well 
Would passion arm me for the enterprise : 
But ah I I am no knight whose foeman dies ; 
No cuirass glistens on my bosom's swell ; 
I am no happy shepherd of the dell 
Whose lips have trembled with a maiden's eyes. 
Yet must I dote upon thee, — call thee sweet, 
Sweeter by far than Hybla's hone/d roses 
When steep'd in dew rich to intoxication. 
Ah 1 I will taste that dew, for me 'tis meet, 
And when the moon her pallid face discloses, 
I'll gather some by spells, and incantation. 



WmTTEN ON THE DAY THAT MR. LEIGH HUNT 

LEFT PRISON 

WHAT though, for showing truth to flatter'd state, 
Kind Hunt was shut in prison, yet has he. 

In his inmiortal spirit, been as free 
As the sky-searching lark, and as elate. 
Minion of grandeur 1 think you he did wait ? 

Think you he nought but prison walls did see. 

Till, so unwilling, thou untum'dst the key ? 
Ah, no 1 far happier, nobler was his fate I 
In Spenser's halls he stra/d, and bowers fair, 

Culling enchanted flowers ; and he flew 
With daring Milton through the fields of air : 

To regions of his own his genius true 
Took happy flights. Who shall his fame impair 

When thou art dead, and all thy wretched crew ? 



44 THE VOLUME OF I8I7 



HOW many bards gild the lapses of time ! 
A few of them have ever been the food 

Of my delighted fancy, — I could brood 
Over their beauties, earthly, or sublime : 
And often, when I sit me down to rhyme. 

These will in throngs before my mind intrude : 

But no confuaon, no disturbance rude 
Do they occasion ; 'tis a pleasing chime. 
So the unnumber'd sounds that evening store ; 

The songs of birds — ^the whi^)ering of the leaves — 
The voice of waters — the great beU that heaves 

With solemn sound, — and thousand others more. 
That distance of recognizance bereaves, 

Make pleasing music, and not wild uproar. 



TO A FRIEND WHO SENT ME SOME ROSES 

AS late I rambled in the happy fields, 
What time the sky-lark shakes the tremulous dew 

From his lush clover covert ; when anew 
Adventurous knights take up their dinted shields : 
I saw the sweetest flower wild nature yields, 

A fresh-blown musk-rose ; 'twas the first that threw 

Its sweets upon the simuner : graceful it grew 
As is the wand that queen Titania wields. 
And, as I feasted on its fragrancy, 

I thought the garden-rose it far ezcell'd : 
But when, O Wells 1 thy roses came to me. 

My sense with their delidousness was spell'd : 
Soft voices had they, that with tender plea 

Whisper'd of peace, and truth, and friendliness unquell'd. 



SONNETS 45 



TO G. A. W. 

NYMPH of the downward smile and sidelong glance, 
In what diviner moments of the day 

Art thou most lovely ? When gone far astray 
Into the labyrinths of sweet utterance ? 
Or when serenely wandering in a trance 

Of sober thought ? Or when starting away, 

With careless robe, to meet the morning ray, 
Thou sparest the flowers in thy mazy dance ? 
Haply 'tis when thy ruby lips part sweetly, 

And so remain, because thou listenest : 
But thou to please wert nurtured so completely 

That I can never tell what mood is best. 
I shall as soon pronounce which grace more neatly 

Trips it before Apollo than the rest. 



O SOLITUDE I if I must with thee dwell. 
Let it not be among the jumbled heap 

Of murky buildings ; climb with me the steep, — 
Nature's observatory — whence the dell. 
Its flowery slopes, its river's crystal swell. 

May seem a span ; let me thy vigils keep 

'Mongst boughs pavilion'd, where the deer's swift leap 
Startles the wild bee from the foz-g^ove bell. 
But though I'll gladly trace these scenes with thee. 

Yet the sweet converse of an innocent mind. 
Whose words are images of thoughts refined. 

Is my soul's pleasure ; and it sure must be 
Almost the highest bliss of human-kind, 

When to thy haunts two kindred spirits flee. 



46 THE VOLUME OF I8I7 



TO MY BROTHERS 



SMALL, busy flames play through the fresh laid ca^^ 
And their faint cracklings o*er our silence creep 

Like whispers of the household gods that keep 
A gentle empire o*er fraternal souls. 
And while, for rhymes, I search around the poks, 

Your eyes are fix'd, as in poetic sleep, 

Upon the lore so voluble and deep. 
That aye at fall of night our care condoles. 
This is your birth-day, Tom, and I rejoice 

That thus it passes smoothly, quietly : ^ 
Many such eves of gently whispering noise 

May we together pass, and calmly try 
What are this world's true joys, — ere the great voice 

From its fair face shall bid our spirits fly. 



KEEN, fitful gusts are whispering here and there 
Among the bushes, half leafless and dry ; 

The stars look very cold about the sky, 
And I have many miles on foot to fare ; 
Yet feel I little of the cool bleak air, 

Or of the dead leaves rustling drearily, 

Or of those silver lamps that bum on high. 
Or of the distance from home's pleasant lair : 
For I am brimfull of the friendliness 

That in a little cottage I have found ; 
Of fair-hair'd Milton's eloquent distress, 

And all his love for gentle Lydd drown'd ; 
Of lovely Laura in her light green dress, 

And ^ithful Petrarch gloriously crown'd. 



SONNETS 47 



■TX) one who has been long in city pent, 
•I lis very sweet to look into the fair 

And open face of heaven, — to breathe a prayer 
Full in the smile of the blue firmament. 
Who is more happy, when, with heart's content. 

Fatigued he sinks into some pleasant lair 

Of wavy grass, and reads a debonair 
And gentle tale of love and languishment ? 
Returning home at evening, with an ear 

Catching the notes of Philomel, — an eye 
Watching the sailing cloudlet's bright career. 

He mourns that day so soon has glided by : 
E'en like the passage of an angel's tear 

That falls through the clear ether silently. 



O?^ FIRST LOOKING INTO CHAPMAN'S HOMER 

MUCH have I travell'd in the realms of gold, 
And many goodly states and kingdoms seen ; 
Round many western islands have I been 

Which bards in fealty to Apollo hold. 

Oft of one wide expanse had I been told 
That deep-brow'd Homer ruled as his demesne ; 
Yet did I never breathe its pure serene 

Till I heard Chapman speak out loud and bold : 

Then felt I like some watcher of the skies 
When a new planet swims into his ken ; 

Or like stout Cortez when with eagle eyes 
He stared at the Pacific — and all his men 

Look'd at each other with a wild surmise- 
Silent, upon a peak in Darien. 



48 THE VOLUME OF I8I7 



ON LEAVING SOME FRIENDS AT AN EARLY ^^^ 

GIVE me a golden pen, and let me lean 
On heapM up flowers, in regions clear, an<t ' 
Bring me a tablet whiter than a star, 
Or hand of hynming angel, when *tis seen 
The silver strings of heavenly harp atween : 
And let there glide by many a pearly car. 
Pink robes, and wavy hair, fltnd diamond jar. 
And half discover'd wings, and glances keen. 
The while let music wander round my ears. 
And as it reaches each delicious ending. 
Let me write down a liile of glorious tone. 
And full of many wonders of the spheres : 
For what a height my spirit is contending 1 
'Tis not content so soon to be alone. 



ADDRESSED TO HAYDON 

HIGHMINDEDNESS, a jealousy for good, 
A loving-kindness for the great man*s fame. 

Dwells here and there with people of no name, 
In noisome alley, and in pathless wood : 
And where we think the truth least understood. 

Oft may be found a *' singleness of aim," 

That ought to frighten into hooded shame 
A money mongering, pitiable brood. 
How glorious this affection for the cause 

Of steadfast genius, toiling gallantly 1 
What when a stout unbending champion awes 

Envy and Malice to their native sty ? 
Unnumber'd souls breathe out a stiU applause., 

Proud to behold him in his country's eye. 



SONNETS 49 




ADDRESSED TO THE SAME 

HEAT spirits now on earth are sojourning ; 
He of the cloud, the cataract, the lake, 
Who on Helvellyn's summit, wide awake, 
^I^tches his freshness from Archangel's wing : 
le of the rose, the violet, the spring. 
The social smile, the chain for Freedom's sake : 
And lo 1 — whose steadfasmess would never take 
meaner sound than Raphael's whispering. 
-And other spirits there are standing apart 
Upon the forehead of the age to come ; 
*Xliese, these will give the world another heart. 
And other pulses. Hear ye not the hum 

Of mighty workings ? 

Listen awhile ye nations, and be dumb. 



ON THE GRASSHOPPER AND CRICKET 

THE poetry of earth is never dead : 
When all the birds are faint with the hot sun. 
And hide in cooling trees, a voice will run 
From hedge to hedge about the new-mown mead ; 
That is the Grasshopper's — he takes the lead 
In summer luxury, — he has never done 
With his delights, for when tired out with fun, 
He rests at ease beneath some pleasant weed. 
The poetry of earth is ceasing never: 
On a lone winter evening, when the frost 
Has wrought a silence, from the stove there shrills 
The Cricket's song, in warmth increasing ever. 
And seems to one in drowsiness half lost. 
The Grasshopper's among some grassy hills. 



;o THE VOLUME OF I8I7 



TO KOSCIUSKO 

GOOD Kosciusko, thy great name alone 
Is a full harvest whence to reap high feeling ^ 
It comes upon us like the glorious pealing 
Of the wide spheres — an everlasting tone. 
And now it tells me, that in worlds unknown, 
Tlie names of heroes, burst from clouds cone 
Are changed to harmonies, for ever stealing 
Through cloudless blue, and round each silver throne^^^ 
It tells me too, that on a happy day. 
When some good spirit walks upon the earth. 

Thy name with Alfred*s, and the great of yore 
Gently commingling, gives tremendous birth 
To a loud hymn, that sounds far, far away 

To where the great God lives for evemlore. 



HAPPY is England 1 I could be content 
To see no other verdure than its own ; 
To feel no other breezes than are blown 
Through its tall woods with high romances blent : 
Yet do I sometimes feel a languishment 
For skies Italian, and an inward groan 
To sit upon an Alp as on a throne, 
And half forget what world or worldling meant. 
Happy is England, sweet her artless daughters ; 
Enough their simple loveliness for me, 

Enough their whitest arms in silence clinging : 
Yet do I often warmly bum to see 
Beauties of deeper glance, and hear their singing, 
And float with them about the summer waters. 



SLEEP AND POETRY 

As I lay in my bed slepefull unnuU 
Was unto me, but why that I ne might 
Rest I ne wist, for there n*as erthly wight 
[As I suppose] bad more of bertis ese 
Than I, for I n*ad sichnesse nor disese. 

•--Chaucer. 

^1 THAT is more gentle than a wind in summet^ 

VV What is more soothing than the pretty hunmier 
That stays one moment in an open flower, 
And buzzes cheerily from bower to bower? 
What is more tranquil than a musk-rose blowing 
In a green island, far from all men's knowing ? 
More healthful than the leafiness of dales ? 
More secret than a nest of nightingales ? 
More serene than Cordelia's countenance ? 
More full of visions than a high romance ? 
What, but thee, Sleep? Soft closer of our eyes I 
Low murmurer of tender lullabies 1 
Light hoverer around our happy pillows I 
Wreather of poppy buds, and weeping willows 1 
Silent entangler of a beauty's tresses 1 
Most happy listener 1 when the morning blesses 
Thee for ailivening all the cheerful eyes 
That glance so brightly at the new sun-rise. 

But what is higher beyond thought than thee ? 
Fresher than berries of a mountain tree ? 

£ 2 



52 THE VOLUME OF I8I7 

More strange, more beautiful, more smooth, more? ^^' 

Than wings of swans, than doves, than dim-seen ^^^ 

What is it ? And to what shall I compare it ? 

It has a glory, and nought else can share it : 

The thought thereof is awful, sweet, and holy. 

Chasing away all worldliness and folly ; 

Coming sometimes like fearful claps of thunder. 

Or the low rumblings earth's regions under ; 

And sometimes like a gentle whispering 

Of all the secrets of some wondrous thing 

That breathes about us in the vacant air ; 

So that we look around with prying stare, 

Perhaps to see shapes of light, aerial limning ; 

And catch soft floatings from a faint-heard hymning ^ 

To see the laurel wreath, on high suspended. 

That is to crown our name when life is ended. 

Sometimes it gives a glory to the voice. 

And from the heart up-springs, rejoice ! rejoice 1 

Sounds which will reach the Framer of all things. 

And die aw^ay in ardent mutterings. 

No one who once the glorious sun has seen 
And all the clouds, and felt his bosom clean 
For his great Maker's presence, but must know 
What 'tis I mean, and feel his being glow : 
Therefore no insult will 1 give his spirit. 
By telling what he sees from native merit. 

O Poesy ! for thee I hold my pen. 
That am not yet a glorious denizen 
Of thy wide heaven — Should I rather kneel 
Upon some mountain-top until I feel 
A glowing splendour round about me hung, 
And echo back the voice of thine own tongue ? 
O Poesy I for thee 1 grasp my pen. 
That am not yet a glorious denizen 
Of thy wide heaven ; yet, to my ardent prayer. 
Yield from thy sanctuary some clear air, 



SLEEP AND POETRY 5 3 

Smoothed for intoxication by the breath 

Of flowering bays, that I may die a death 

Of luxury, and my young spirit follow 

The morning sun-beams to the great Apollo, 

Like a fresh sacrifice : or, if I can bear 

The o'erwhelming sweets, 'twill bring to me the fair 

Visions of all places : a bowery nook 

Will be elysium — an eternal book 

WTience I may copy many a lovely sa3ring 

About the leaves, and flowers — about the playing 

Of nymphs in woods, and fountains ; and the shade 

Keeping a silence round a sleeping maid ; 

And many a verse from so strange influence 

That we must ever wonder how, and whence 

It came. Also imaginings will hover 

Round my fire-side, and haply there discover 

Vistas of solemn beauty, where Fd wander 

In happy silence, like the clear Meander 

Through its lone vales ; and where I found a spot 

Of awfuller shade, or an enchanted grot. 

Or a green hill o'erspread with chequer'd dress 

Of flowers, and fearful from its lovdiness. 

Write on my tablets all that was permitted, 

All that was for our human senses fitted. 

Then the events of this wide world Vd seize 

Like a strong giant, and my spirit tease. 

Till at its shoulders it should proudly see 

Wings to find out an immortality. 

Stop and consider 1 life is but a day ; 
A fragile dew-drop on its perilous way 
From a tree's summit ; a poor Indian's sleep 
While his boat hastens to the monstrous steep 
Of Montmorenci. Why so sad a moan ? 
Life is the rose's hope while yet unblown ; 
The reading of an ever-changing tale ; 
The light uplifting of a maiden's veil ; 
A pigeon tumbling in clear summer air ; 



54 THE VOLUME OF 1 8 17 

A laughing school-boy, without grief or care, 
Riding the springy branches of an ehn. 

O for ten years, that I may overwhelm 
Myself in poesy ; so I may do the deed 
That my own soul has to itself decreed. 
Then Wl I pass the countries that I see 
In long perspective, and continually 
Taste their pure fountains. First the realm I'll pa^- 
Of Flora, and old Pan : sleep in the grass, 
Feed upon apples red, and strawberries, 
And choose each pleasure that my fancy sees ; 
Catch the white-handed nymphs in shady places, 
To woo sweet kisses from averted faces, — 
Play with their fingers, touch their shoulders white 
Into a pretty shrinking with a bite 
As hard as lips can make it : till agreed, 
A lovely tale of human life we'll read. 
And one will teach a tame dove how it best 
May fan the cool air gently o'er my rest ; 
Another, bending o'er her nimble tread, 
Will set a green robe floating round her head, 
And still will dance with ever varied ease, 
Smiling upon the flowers and the trees : 
Another will entice me on, and on, 
Through almond blossoms and rich cinnamon ; 
Till in the bosom of a leafy world 
We rest in silence, like two gems upcurl'd 
In the recesses of a pearly shell. 

And can I ever bid these joys farewell ? 
Yes, I must pass them for a nobler life, 
Where I may find the agonies, the strife 
Of human hearts : for lo 1 I see afar, 
O'er sailing the blue cragginess, a car 
And steeds with streamy manes — the charioteer 
Looks out upon the winds with glorious fear : 
And now the numerous tramplings quiver lightly 



SLEEP AND POETRY 

^ong a huge cloud's ridge ; and now with sprightly 
"Wheel downward come they into fresher skies, 
Tipt round with silver from the sun's bright eyes. 
Still downward with capacious whirl they glide ; 
And now I see them on a green hill's side 
In breezy rest among the nodding stalks. 
The charioteer with wondrous gesture talks 
To the trees and mountains ; and there soon appear 
Shapes of delight, of mystery, and fear. 
Passing along before a dusky space 
Made by some mighty oaks: as they would chase 
Some ever-fleeting music, on they sweep. 
Lo 1 how they murmur, laugh, and smile, and weep 
Some with upholden hand and mouth severe ; 
Some with their faces mufBed to the ear 
Bet^^reen their arms ; some, dear in youthful bloom, 
Go glad and smilingly athwart the gloom ; 
Some looking back, and some with upward gaze ; 
Yes, thousands in a thousand diflerent ways 
Plit onward — now a lovely wreath of girls 
Trancing their sleek hair into tangled curls ; 
And now broad wings. Most awfully intent 
The driver of those steeds is forward bent. 
And seems to listen : O that I might know 
All that he writes with such a hurrying glow 1 

The visions all are fled — the car is fled 
Into the light of heaven, and in their stead 
A sense of real things comes doubly strong, 
And, like a muddy stream, would bear along 
My soul to nothingness : but I will strive 
Against all doubtings, and will keep alive 
The thought of that same chariot, and the strange 
Journey it went. 

Is there so small a range 
In the present strength of manhood, that the high 
Imagination cannot freely fly 



56 THE VOLUME OF I8I7 

As she was wont of old ? prq)are her steeds, 
Paw up against the light, and do strange deeds 
Upon the clouds ? Has she not shown us all ? 
From the clear space of ether, to the small 
Breath of new buds unfolding ? From the m 
Of Jove*s large eye-brow, to the tender greening 
Of April meadows? Here her altar shone, 
E'en in this isle ; and who could paragon 
The fervid choir that lifted up a noise 
Of harmony, to where it aye will poise 
Its mighty self of convoluting sound, 
Huge as a planet, and like that roll round, 
Eternally around a dizzy void ? 
Ay, in those da3rs the Muses were nigh doy'd 
With honours ; nor had any other care 
Than to sing out and soothe their wavy hair. 



Could all this be forgotten ? Yes, a schism 
Nurtured by foppery and barbarism 
Made great Apollo blush for this his land. 
Men were thought wise who could not understand 
His glories : with a puling infant's force 
They sway'd about upon a rocking horse, 
And thought it Pegasus. Ah, dismal souPd ! 
The winds of heaven blew, the ocean roll'd 
Its gathering waves — ye felt it not. The blue 
Bared its eternal bosom, and the dew 
Of summer nights collected still to make 
The morning precious : beauty was awake 1 
Why were ye not awake ? But ye were dead 
To things ye knew not of, — were closely wed 
To musty laws lined out with wretched rule 
And compass vile : so that ye taught a school 
Of dolts to smoothe, inlay, and dip, and fit, 
Till, like the certain wands of Jacob's wit, 
Their verses tallied. Easy was the task : 
A thousand handicraftsmen wore the mask 




SLEEP AND POETRY 

Of Poesy. Ill-£ited, impious race I 
That blasphemed the bright Lyrist to his face, 
And did not know it, — no, they went about, 
Holding a poor, decrepit standard out, 
Mark'd widi most flimsy mottoes, and in large 
The name of one Boileau ! 

O ye whose charge 
It is to hover round our pleasant hills ! 
Whose congregated majesty so fills 
My boundly reverence, that I cannot trace 
Your hallowed names, in this unholy place, 
So near those common folk ; did not their shames 
Af&ight you ? Did our old lamenting Thames 
Delight you ? Did ye never cluster round 
•Delicious Avon, widi a mournful sound. 
And weep ? Or did ye wholly bid adieu 
To r^ons where no more the laurel grew ? 
Or did ye stay to give a welcoming 
To some lone spirits who could proudly sing 
Their youth away, and die ? 'Twas even so : 
^ut let me think away those times of woe : 
14ow 'tis a fairer season ; ye have breathed 
Kich benedictions o'er us ; ye have wreathed 
Presh garlands : for sweet music has been heard 
In many places ; — some has been upstirr'd 
From out its crystal dwelling in a lake. 
By a swan's ebon bill ; from a thick brake. 
Nested and quiet in a valley mild. 
Bubbles a pipe ; fine sounds are floating wild 
About the earth : happy are ye and glad. 

These things are doubtless : yet in truth we've had 
Strange thunders from the potency of song; 
Mingled indeed with what is sweet and strong. 
From majesty : but in clear truth the themes 
Are ugly dubs, the Poets Polyphemes 
Disturbing the grand sea. A drainless shower 
Of light is poesy ; 'tis the supreme of power ; 



S8 THE VOLUME OF I8I7 

'lis might half slumbering on its own right arm. ^ * 

The very archings of her eye-lids charm 

A thousand willing agents to obey, 

And still she governs with the mildest sway : 

But strength alone, though of the Muses bom, 

Is like a fallen angel : trees uptom, 

Darkness, and worms, and shrouds, and sepulchre^=^^^ 

Delight it ; for it feeds upon the burrs 

And thorns of life ; forgetting the great end 

Of poesy, that it should be a friend 

To soothe the cares, and lift the thoughts of man. 

Yet I rejoice : a myrtle fairer than 
E'er grew in Paphos, from the bitter weeds 
Lifts its sweet head into the air, and feeds 
A silent space with ever sprouting green. 
All tenderest birds there find a pleasant screen. 
Creep through the shade with jaunty fluttering, 
Nibble the little cupped flowers and sing. 
Then let us clear away the choking thorns 
From round its gentle stem ; let the young £awns, 
Yeaned in afrer times, when we are flown. 
Find a fresh sward beneath it, overgrown 
With simple flowers : let there nothing be 
More boisterous than a lover's bended knee ; 
Nought more ungentle than the placid look 
Of one who leans upon a dosed book ; 
Nought more untranquil than the grassy slopes 
Between two hills. All hail, delightful hopes ! 
As she was wont, the imagination 
Into most lovely labyrinths will be gone. 
And they shall be accounted poet kings 
Who simply tell the most heart-easing things. 
O may these jo5rs be ripe before I die. 

Will not some say that I presumptuously 
Have spoken ? that from hastening disgrace 
'Twere better far to hide my foolish face ? 



SLEEP AND POETRY S9 

whining boyhood should with reverence bow 
re the dread thunderboh could reach me ? How 1 
I do hide myself, it sure shall be 
the very fane, the light of Poesy : 
Xf I do fall, at least I will be laid 
'fieneath the silence of a poplar shade ; 
.And over me the grass shall be smooth shaven ; 
.And there shall be a kind memorial graven. 
Bat off, Despondence I miserable bane I 
They should not know thee, who athirst to gain 

A noble end, are thirsty every hour. 

What though I am not wealthy in the dower 

Of spanning wisdom ; though I do not know 

The shiftings of the mighty winds that blow 

Hither and thither all the changing thoughts 

Of man : though no great ministering reason sorts 

Out the dark mysteries of human souls 

To dear conceiving : yet there ever rolls 

A vast idea before me, and I glean 

Therefrom my liberty ; thence too I've seen 

The end and aim of Poesy. *Tis clear 

As anything most true ; as that the year 

Is made of the four seasons — manifest 

As a large cross, some old cathedral's crest, 

Lifted to the white clouds. Therefore should I 

Be but the essence of deformity, 

A coward, did my very eye-lids wink 

At speaking out what I have dared to think. 

Ah 1 rather let me like a madman run 

Over some precipice ; let the hot sun 

Melt my Dedalian wings, and drive me down 

Convulsed and headlong 1 Stay ! an inward frown 

Of conscience bids me be more calm awhile. 

An ocean dim, sprinkled with many an isle. 

Spreads awfully before me. How much toil I 

How many days I what desperate turmoil ! 

Ere I can have explored its widenesses. 

Ah, what a task I upon my bended knees, 



60 THE VOLUME OF I8I7 

I could unsay those — no, impossible I 
Impossible I 

For sweet relief Til dwell 
On humbler thoughts, and let this strange assay 
Begun in gentleness die so away. 
£*en now all tumult from my bosom fades : 
I turn full hearted to the friendly aids 
That smoothe the path of honour; brotherhood, 
And friendliness, the nurse of mutual good. 
The hearty grasp that sends a pleasant sonnet 
Into the brain ere one can think upon it ; 
The silence when some rhymes are coming out ; 
And when they're come, the very pleasant rout : 
The message certain to be done to-morrow. 
'Tis perhaps as well that it should be to borrow 
Some precious book from out its snug retreat. 
To duster round it when we next shall meet. 
Scarce can I scribble on ; for lovely airs 
Are fluttering round the room like doves in pairs ; 
Many delights of that glad day recalling. 
When first my senses caught their tender falling. 
And with these airs come forms of elegance 
Stooping their shoulders o'er a horse's prance. 
Careless, and grand — fingers soft and round 
Parting luxuriant curls ; — and the swift bound 
Of Bacchus from his chariot, when his eye 
Made Ariadne's cheek look blushingly. 
Thus I remember all the pleasant flow 
Of words at opening a portfolio. 

Things such as these are ever harbingers 
To trains of peaceful images : the stirs 
Of a swan's neck unseen among the rushes : 
A linnet starting all about the bushes : 
A butterfly, with golden wings broad parted. 
Nestling a rose, convulsed as though it smarted 
With over pleasure — many, many more, 



SLEEP AND POETRY 

Ight I indulge at large in all my store 

)f luxuries : yet I must not forget 

ileep, quiet with his poppy coronet : 

ror -what there may be worthy in these rhymes 

I partly owe to him : and thus, the chimes 

Of friendly voices had just given place 

To as sweet a silence, when I 'gan retrace 

The pleasant day, upon a couch at ease. 

It ^was a poet's house who keeps the keys 

Of pleasure's temple. Round about were hung 

The glorious features of the bards who sung 

In other ages — cold and sacred busts 

Smiled at each other. Happy he who trusts 

To clear Futurity his darling fame ! 

Then there were fauns and satyrs taking aim 

At swelling apples with a frisky leap, 

And reaching fingers 'mid a luscious heap 

Of vine leaves. Then there rose to view a fane 

Of liny marble, and thereto a train 

Of nymphs approaching fairly o'er the sward : 

One, loveliest, holding her white hand toward 

The dazzling sun-rise : two sisters sweet 

Bending their graceful figures till they meet 

Over the trippings of a little child : 

And some are hearing, eagerly, the wild 

Thrilling liquidity of dewy piping. 

See, in another picture, nymphs are wiping 

Cherishingly Diana's timorous limbs ; — 

A fold of lawny mantle dabbling swims 

At the bath's edge, and keeps a gentle motion 

With the subsiding crystal : as when ocean 

Heaves calmly its broad swelling smoothness o'er 

Its rocky marge, and balances once more 

The patient weeds ; that now unshent by foam 

Feel all about their undulating home. 

Sappho's meek head was there half smiling doi 
At nothing ; just as though the earnest frown 



62 THE VOLUME OF I8I7 

Of over thinking had that moment gone 
From oflf her brow, and left her ail alone. 

Great Alfred's too, with anxious, pitying eyes, 
As if he alwa3rs listened to the sighs 
Of the goaded world ; and Kosciusko's, worn 
By horrid suffrance — mightily forlorn. 

Petrarch, outstepping from the shady green. 
Starts at the sight of Laura ; nor can wean 
His eyes from her sweet face. Most happy they I 
For over them was seen a free display 
Of out-spread wings, and from between them shone 
The face of Poesy : from oflf her throne 
She overlooked things that I scarce could tell. 
The very sense of where I was might well 
Keep Sleep aloof: but more than that there came 
Thought after thought to nourish up the flame 
Within my breast; so that the morning light 
Surprised me even from a sleepless night ; 
And up I rose refreshed, and glad, and gay, 
Resolving to begin that very day 
These lines ; and howsoever they be done, 
I leave them as a father does his son. 



ENDYMION 

A POETIC ROMANCE 



" TU ilrttcbfd aiiirt 0/ an aniiqui sc 



INSCRIBED 

TO THE MEMORY OF 
THOMAS CHATTERTON 



PREFA CE 

LOWING within myself the manner in which this Poem has been 
Toduced, it is not without a feeling of regret that I make it public. 

What manner I mean, will be quite clear to the reader, who must 
wm perceive great inexperience, immaturity, and every error denoting a 
feverish attempt, rather than a deed accomplished. The two first books, 
and indeed the two last, I feel sensible are not of such completion as to 
vxsrrant their passing the press ; nor should they if I thought a year's 
castigation would do them any good; — it will not: the foundations are 
too sandy. It is just that this youngster should die away : a sad tJxmght 
for me, if I had not some hope that while it is dwindling I may be 
plotting, and fitting myself for verses fit to live. 

This may be speaking too presumptuously, and may deserve a punislh 
ment : hut no feeling man will be forward to inflict it: he will leave me 
Qhne, with the conviction that there is not a fiercer hell than the failure 
in a great object. This is not written with the least atom of purpose to 
forestall criticisms of course, but from the desire J have to conciliate men 
tubo are competent to look, and wJjo do look with a jealous eye, to tfje 
honour of English literature. 

The imagination of a boy is healthy, and the mature imagination of a 
nuin is healthy ; but there is a space of life between, in which the soul is in 
a ferment, the character undecided, the way of life uncertain, the ambition 

thick-sighted: thence proceeds mawkishness, and all the thousand bitters 

V}hich those men I speak of must necessarily taste in going over the 

following pages, 
I hope J have not in too late a day touched the beautiful mytJjology of 

Greece, and dulled its brightness : for I wish to try once more, before I bid 

it farewell, 

Tbignmouth, April jo, 1818, 



ENDYMION 

BOOK I 

A THING of beauty is a joy for ever : 
Its loveliness increases ; it will never 
Pass into nothingness ; but still will keep 
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep 
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet brea^^^^^ 
Therefore, on every morrow, are we wreathing 
A flowery band to bind us to the earth, 
Spite of despondence, of the inhuman dearth 
Of noble natures, of the gloomy days. 
Of all the unhealthy and o'er-darken'd ways 
Made for our searching : yes, in spite of all, 
Some shape of beauty moves away the pall 
From our dark spirits. Such the sun, the moon, 
Trees old and young, sprouting a shady boon 
For simple sheep ; and such are daffodils 
With the green world they live in ; and clear rills 
That for themselves a cooling covert make 
*Gainst the hot season ; the mid forest brake. 
Rich with a sprinkling of fair musk-rose blooms : 
And such too is the grandeur of the dooms 
We have imagined for the mighty dead ; 
All lovely tales that we have heard or read : 
An endless fountain of immortal drink. 
Pouring unto us from the heaven's brink. 

Nor do we merely feel these essences 
For one short hour ; no, even as the trees 



BOOK J 67 

It whisper round a temple become soon 
as the temple's self, so does the moon, 
^JL'he passion poesy, glories infinite, 
Kaunt us till they become a cheering light 30 

^nto our souls, and bound to us so fast, 
That, whether there be shine, or gloom o*ercast, 
They alway must be with us, or we die. 



Therefore, 'tis with full happiness that I 
Will trace the story of Endymion. 
The very music of the name has gone 
Into my being, and each pleasant scene 
Is growing fresh before me as the green 
Of our own valleys : so I will begin 
Now while I cannot hear the city*s din ; 40 

Now while the early budders are just new, 
And run in mazes of the youngest hue 
About old forests ; while the willow trails 
Its deUcate amber ; and the dairy pails 
Bring home increase of milk. And, as the year 
Grows lush in juicy stalks, Til smoothly steer 
My little boat, for many quiet hours. 
With streams that deepen freshly into bowers. 
Many and many a verse I hope to write. 
Before the daisies, vermeil rimm*d and white, so 

Hide in deep herbage ; and ere yet the bees 
Hum about globes of clover and sweet peas, 
I must be near the middle of my story. 
O may no wintry season, bare and hoary, 
See it half finish*d : but let Autunm bold. 
With universal tinge of sober gold, 
Be all about me when I make an end. 
And now at once, adventuresome, I send 
My herald thought into a wilderness : 
There let its trumpet blow, and quickly dress 60 

My uncertain path with green, that I may speed 
Easily onward, thorough flowers and weed. 

F 2 



68 ENDYMION 

Upon the sides of Latmos was outspread 
A mighty forest ; for the moist earth fed 
So plenteously all weed-hidden roots 
Into o'er-hanging boughs, and precious fruits. 
And it had gloomy shades, sequester*d deep. 
Where no man went ; and if from shepherd's keep 
A lamb stra/d far a-down those inmost glens. 
Never again saw he the happy pens 
Whither his brethren, bleating with content, 
Over the hills at every nightfall went. 
Among the shepherds 'twas believed ever. 
That not one fleecy lamb which thus did sever 
From the white flock, but pass'd unworried 
By angry wolf, or pard with prying head, 
Until it came to some unfooted plains 
Where fed the herds of Pan : ay, great his gains 
Who thus one lamb did lose. Paths there were many, 
Winding through palmy fern, and rushes fenny. 
And ivy banks; all leading pleasantly 
To a wide lawn, whence one could only see 
Stems thronging all around between the swell 
Of turf and slanting branches : who could tell 
The freshness of the space of heaven above. 
Edged round with dark tree tops ? through which a dov 
Would often beat its wings, and often too 
.A little doud would move across the blue. 



Full in the middle of this pleasantness 
There stood a marble altar, with a tress 
Of flowers budded newly ; and the dew 
Had taken fairy phantasies to strew 
Daisies upon the sacred sward last eve, 
And so the dawned light in pomp receive. 
For *twas the mom : Apollo's upward fire 
Made every eastern cloud a silvery pyre 
Of brighmess so unsullied, that therein 
A melancholy spirit well might win 



BOOK I 69 

Oblivion, and melt out his essence fine 

Xxito the winds : rain-scented eglantine 100 

C^ve temperate sweets to that well-wooing sun ; 

*Hie lark was lost in him; cold springs had run 

iTo ij^arm their chilliest bubbles in the grass ; 

Man*s voice was on the mountains ; and the mass 

Of nature's lives and wonders pulsed tenfold, 

To feel this sun-rise and its glories old. 

Now while the sMent workings of the dawn 
>Vere busiest, into that self-same lawn 
All suddenly, with joyful cries, there sped 
A troop of little children garlanded ; no 

Who gathering round the altar, seem*d to pry 
Earnestly round as wishing to espy 
Some folk of holiday : nor had they waited 
For many moments, ere their ears were sated 
With a faint breath of music, which ev*n then 
Fill'd out its voice, and died away again. 
Within a little space again it gave 
Its airy swellings, with a gentle wave, / 

To light-hung leaves, in smoothest echoes breaking 
Through copse-clad valleys, — ere their death, overtaking 120 
The surgy murmurs of the lonely sea. 

And now, as deep into the wood as we 
Might mark a lynx's eye, there glimmer'd light 
Fair faces and a rush of garments white, 
Plainer and plainer showing, till at last 
Into the widest alley they all past. 
Making directly for the woodland altar. 
O kindly muse ! let not my weak tongue falter 
In telling of this goodly company, 

Of their old piety, and of their glee : 1 30 

But let a portion of ethereal dew 
Fall on my head, and presently unmew 
My soul ; that I may dare, in wayfaring. 
To stammer where old Chaucer used to sing. 



70 ENDYMION 

Leading the way, young damseb danced along, 
Bearing the burden of a shepherd song; 
Each having a white wicker over brimm'd 
With April's tender younglings : next, well trimm'c 
A crowd of shepherds with as sunburnt looks 
As may be read of in Arcadian books ; 
Such as sat listening round Apollo's pipe, 
When the great deity, for earth too ripe, 
Let his divinity o'er-flowing die 
In music, through the vales of Thessaly : 
Some idly trail'd their sheep-hooks on the ground. 
And some kept up a shrilly mellow sound 
With ebon-tipped flutes : close after these. 
Now coming from beneath the forest trees, 
A venerable priest full soberly. 

Begirt with ministering looks : alway his eye '^^ 

Steadfast upon the matted mrf he kept. 
And after him his sacred vestments swept. 
From his right hand there swung a vase, milk-whit^ 
Of mingled xwine, out-sparkling generous light; 
And in his left he held a basket full 
Of all sweet herbs that searching eye could cull : 
Wild th)rme, and valley-lilies whiter still 
Than Leda's love, and cresses from the rill. 
His aged head, crowned with beechen wreath, , 

SeemM like a poll of ivy in the teeth 
Of winter hoar. Then came another crowd 
Of shepherds, lifting in due time aloud 
Their share of the ditty. After them appear'd, 
Up-foUow'd by a multitude that rear'd 
Their voices to the clouds, a fair wrought car, 
Easily rolling, so as scarce to mar 
The freedom of three steeds of dapple brown : 
Who stood therein did seem of great renown 
Among the throng. His youth was fully blown, 
Showing like Ganymede to manhood grown ; '^^ 

And, for those simple times, his garments were 
A chieftain king's : beneath his breast, half bare, 



BOOK I 71 

Was hung a silver bugle, and between 

His nervy knees there lay a boar-spear keen. 

A smile was on his countenance ; he seem'd. 

To common lookers on, like one who dream*d 

Of idleness in groves Elysian : 

But there were some who feelingly could scan 

A lurking trouble in his nether lip, 

And see that oftentimes the reins would slip 180 

Through his forgotten hands : then would they sigh, 

And think of yellow leaves, of owlets' cry, 

Of logs piled solemnly. — Ah, well-a-day, 

Why should our young Endymion pine away 1 



Soon the assembly, in a circle ranged, 
Stood silent round the shrine : each look was changed 
To sudden veneration : women meek 
Beckon'd their sons to silence ; while each cheek 
Of virgin bloom paled gently for slight fear. 
Endymion too, without a. forest peer, 190 

Stood, wan, and pale, and with an awed face, 
Among his brothers of the mountain chase. 
In midst of all, the venerable priest 
Eyed them with joy from greatest to the least, 
Aiid, after lifting up his aged hands. 
Thus spake he : '* Men of Latmos I shepherd bands I 
Whose care it is to guard a thousand flocks : 
Whether descended from beneath the rocks 
That overtop your mountains ; whether come 
From valleys where the pipe is never dumb ; 200 

Or from your swelling downs, where sweet air stirs 
Blue hare-bells lightly, and where prickly furze 
Buds lavish gold ; or ye, whose precious charge 
Nibble their fill at ocean's very marge. 
Whose meUow reeds are touch'd with sounds forlorn 
By the dim echoes of old Triton's horn : 
Mothers and wives ! who day by day prepare 
The scrip, with needments, for the mountain air ; 



72 ENDYMION 

And all ye gentle girls who foster up 

Udderless lambs, and in a little cup 210 

Will put choice honey for a favour'd youth : 

Yea, every one attend I for in good truth 

Our vows are wanting to our great god Pan. 

Are not our lowing heifers sleeker than 

Night-swoUen mushrooms ? Are not our wide plains 

Speckled with countless fleeces ? Have not rains 

Green' d over April's lap ? No howling sad 

Sickens our fearful ewes ; and we have had 

Great bounty from £nd3rmion our lord. 

The earth is glad : the merry hik has pour'd 220 

His early song against yon breezy sky, 

That spreads so clear o'er our solemnity." 

Thus ending, on the shrine he heap'd a spire 
Of teeming sweets, enkindling sacred fire ; 
Anon he stain'd the thick and spongy sod 
With wine, in honour of the shepherd-god. 
Now while the earth was drinking it, and while 
Bay leaves were crackling in the fragrant pile. 
And gummy frankincense was sparkling bright 
'Neath smothering parsley, and a hazy light 230 

Spread greyly eastward, thus a chorus sang : 

** O THOU, whose mighty palace roof doth hang 
From jagged trunks, and overshadoweth 
Eternal whispers, glooms, the birth, life, death 
Of unseen flow^ers in heavy peacefulness ; 
Who lov'st to see the hamadryads dress 
Their rufHed locks where meeting hazels darken ; 
And through whole solemn hours dost sit, and hearken 
The dreary melody of bedded reeds — 
In desolate places, where dank moisture breeds 240 

The pipy hemlock to strange overgrowth ; 
Bethinking thee, how melancholy loth 
Thou wast to lose fair Syrinx — do thou now, 
By thy love's milky brow ! 



BOOK I 73 

By all the trembling mazes that she ran, 
Hear us, great Pan 1 

** O thou, for whose soul-soothing quiet, turtles 
Passion their voices cooingly 'mong myrtles, 
What time thou wanderest at eventide 
Through sunny meadows, that outskirt the side 250 

Of thine enmossed realms : O thou, to whom 
Broad leaved fig trees even now foredoom 
Their ripenM fruitage ; yellow girted bees 
Their golden honeycombs ; our village leas 
Their fairest blossom'd beans and poppied com ; 
The chuckling linnet its five young unborn. 
To sing for thee ; low creeping strawberries 
Their sunmier coolness ; pent up butterflies 
Their freckled wings ; yea, the fresh budding year 
All its completions — be quickly near, 260 

By every wind that nods the mountain pine, 
O forester divine I 

*• Thou, to whom every faun and sat3rr flies 
For willing service ; whether to surprise 
The squatted hare while in half sleeping fit ; 
Or upward ragged precipices flit 
To save poor lambkins fi-om the eagle's maw; 
Or by mysterious enticement draw 
Bewilder'd shepherds to their path again ; 
Or to tread breathless round the firothy main, 270 

And gather up all fancifuUest shells 
For thee to tumble into Naiads' cells, 
And, being hidden, laugh at their out-peeping ; 
Or to dehght thee with fantastic leaping. 
The while they pelt each other on the crown 
With silvery oak apples, and fir cones brown — 
By all the echoes that about thee ring. 
Hear us, O sat3rr king 1 

*' O Hearkener to the loud clapping shears. 
While ever and anon to his shorn peers 280 



74 ENDYMION 

A ram goes bleating : Winder of the horn, 
When snouted wild-boars routing tender com 
Anger our huntsman : Breather round our farms, 
To keep off mildews, and all weather harms : 
Strange ministrant of undescribed sounds, 
That come a swooning over hollow grounds, 
And wither drearily on barren moors : 
Dread opener of the mysterious doors 
Leading to universal knowledge — see, 
Great son of Dryope, 

The many that are come to pay their vows 
With leaves about their brows I 

'* Be still the unimaginable lodge 
For solitary thinkings ; such as dodge 
Conception to the very bourne of heaven. 
Then leave the naked brain : be still the leaven, 
That spreading in this dull and clodded earth, 
Gives it a touch ethereal — a new birth : 
Be still a symbol of inmiensity ; 
A firmament reflected in a sea ; 
An element filling the space between ; 
An unknown — but no more : we humbly screen 
With uplift hands our foreheads, lowly bending. 
And giving out a shout most heaven rending, 
Q>njure thee to receive our humble Paean, 
Upon thy Mount Lycean I " 

Even while they brought the burden to a close, 
A shout fi'om the whole multitude arose. 
That linger*d in the air like dying rolls 
Of abrupt thunder, when Ionian shoals 
Of dolphins bob their noses through the brine. 
Meantime, on shady levels, mossy fine, 
Young companies nimbly began dancing 
To the swift treble pipe, and humming string. 
Ay, those fair living forms swam heavenly 
To tunes forgotten — out of memory : 



BOOK I 75 

Fair creatures 1 whose young childrens* ehildren bred 

Thermopylae its heroes — not yet dead, 

But in old marbles ever beautiful. 

High genitors, unconscious did they cull 320 

Time's sweet first-fruits — they danced to weariness. 

And then in quiet circles did they press 

The hillock turf, and caught the btter end 

Of some strange history, potent to send 

A young mind from its bodily tenement. 

Or they might watch the quoit-pitchers, intent 

On either side ; pitying the sad death 

Of Hyacinthus, when the cruel breath 

Of Zephyr slew him, — Zephyr penitent, 

Who now, ere Phoebus mounts the firmament, 3 30 

Fondles the flower amid the sobbing rain. 

The archers too, upon a wider plain. 

Beside the feathery whizzing of the shaft, 

And the dull twanging bowstring, and the raft 

Branch down sweeping from a tall ash top, 

Call'd up a thousand thoughts to envelope 

Those who would watch. Perhaps, the trembling knee 

And frantic gape of lonely Niobe, 

Poor, lonely Niobe I when her lovely young 

Were dead and gone, and her caressing tongue 340 

Lay a lost thing upon her paly lip. 

And very, very deadliness did nip 

Her motherly cheeks. Aroused from this sad mood 

By one, who at a distance loud halloo'd, 

Uplifting his strong bow into the air. 

Many might after brighter visions stare : 

After the Argonauts, in blind amaze 

Tossing about on Neptune's restless ways, 

Until, from the horizon's vaulted side. 

There shot a golden splendour far and wide, 350 

Spangling those million poutings of the brine 

With quivering ore : 'twas even an awful shine 

From the exaltation of Apollo's bow ; 

A heavenly beacon in their dreary woe. 



370 



76 ENDYMION 

Who thus were ripe for high contemplating, 

Might turn their steps towards the sober ring 

Where sat Endymion and the aged priest 

'Mong shepherds gone in eld, whose looks inc 

The silvery setting of their mortal star. 

There they discoursed upon the fragile bar ^ 

That keeps us from our homes ethereal ; 

And what our duties there : to nightly call 

Vesper, the beauty-crest of sunmier weather ; 

To summon all the downiest clouds together 

For the sun's purple couch ; to emulate 

In ministering the potent rule of fate 

With speed of fire-taird exhalations ; 

To tint her pallid cheek with bloom, who cons 

Sweet poesy by moonlight : besides these, 

A world of other unguess*d offices. 

Anon they wanderM, by divine converse, 

Into Elysium ; vying to rehearse 

Each one his own anticipated bliss. 

One felt heart-certain that he could not miss 

His quick gone love, among fair blossomed boughs. 

Where every zephyr-sigh pouts, and endows 

Her lips with music for the welcoming. 

Another wish*d, 'mid that eternal spring. 

To meet his rosy child, with feathery sails, ^ 

Sweeping, eye-earnestly, through almond vales : ^ 

Who, suddenly, should stoop through the smooth wi^ ' 

And with the balmiest leaves his temples bind ; 

And, ever after, through those regions be 

His messenger, his little Mercury. 

Some were athirst in soul to see again 

Their feUow huntsmen o'er the wide champaign 

In times long past ; to sit with them, and talk 

Of all the chances in their earthly walk ; 

Comparing, joyfully, their plenteous stores 

Of happiness, to when upon the moors, 5^ 

Benighted, close they huddled from the cold, 

And shared their famish'd scrips. Thus all out-told 



BOOK I 77 

rheir fond imaginations, — saving him 

C^Hiose eyelids curtainM up their jeweb dim, 

Endymion : yet hourly had he striven 

To hide the cankering venom, that had riven 

His fainting recollections. Now indeed 

His senses had swoonM off : he did not heed 

The sudden silence, or the whispers low, 

Or the old eyes dissolving at his woe, 400 

Or anxious calls, or close of trembling palms, 

Or maiden's sigh, that grief itself embalms : 

But in the self-same fixed trance he kept, 

Like one who on the earth had never stept. 

Ay, even as dead-still as a marble man, 

Frozen in that old tale Arabian. 

Who whispers him so pantingly and close ? 
Peona, his sweet sister : of all those, 
His friends, the dearest. Hushing signs she made, 
And breathed a sister's sorrow to persuade 410 

A yielding up, a cradling on her care. 
Her eloquence did breathe away the curse : 
She led him, like some midnight spirit nurse 
Of happy changes in emphatic dreams. 
Along a path between two little streams, — 
Guarding his forehead, with her round elbow. 
From low-grown branches, and his footsteps slow 
From stumbling over stumps and hillocks small ; 
Until they came to where these streamlets fall, 
With mingled bubblings and a gentle rush, 420 

Into a river, clear, brimful, and flush 
With crystal mocking of the trees and sky. 
A little shallop, floating there hard by, 
Pointed its beak over the fringed bank ; 
And soon it lightly dipp'd, and rose, and sank, 
And dipt again, with the young couple's weight, — 
Peona guiding, through the water straight, 
Towards a bowery island opposite; 
Which gaining presently, she steered light 



Tb EyDYMJOS 



4 



lTi:r» 1 sbiir, fr^ssii. and npp^r ccjvc, 
'ft'bcT igsri V2S 32 ar>D2r, o va wov e 
Bt mzrr a suzzmc's vlrTi entering ; 
To '»^:se cdol b:5SDa2 she "was csed to bring 
H^r plz^^T.rrr^. vri r^sr needle broidery, 
Aad xnrssci^ TrvTmnes d times gone by. 

So she was rs^'v g-lai to see him Uid 

Unier ber isivviiiriie bcrarer's qnict shade. 

On bcr own coocb . oew nude of flower leaves, 

Driei cire:;ijT oq the cooler side of sheaves 

'Vk'ben lasi tbc ssm his anrnmn tresses shook. 

And the ts-m'j hareesers ridi annfiils took. 

S>3a was be qiiksed to siambrous rest : 

But, ere it crerc 3poa him, he had presi 

Peooa's bus\- hand agiins: his lips. 

And siill, a sl'cering, held her finger-tips 

In tender pressure. And as i willow keeps 

A ptaiient waich o>'er the stream that creeps 

"^"miingly by it, so the quiet maid 

Held her in peace : so that a whispering blade 

Of grass, a u-ailfiil gnat, a bee busthng 

Dou-n in the blue-bdls, or a wren light rustling 

Among sere leaves and r^-igs, might all be heard. 

O magic sleep ! O comfortable bird, 
That broodest o'er the troubled sea of die mind 
Till it is hush'd and smooth ! O onconfined 
Restraint ! imprisoned liberty ! great key 
To golden palaces, strange minsftrdsy, 
Fountains grotesque, new trees, bespangled caves, 
Echoing grottoes, ftill of tumbling waves , 

And moonlight ; ay, to all the mazy world ^ 

Of silvery enchantment 1 — who, upfurFd 
Beneath thy drowsy wing a triple hour, 
But renovates and lives ?— Thus, in the bower, 
Endymion was calm'd to life again. 
Opening his eyelids with a healthier brain, 



AS 



BOOK I 



79 



He said : ''I feel this thine endearing love 

Ail through my bosom : thou art as a dove 

Trembling its closed eyes and sleeked wings 

About me; and the pearliest dew not brings 

Such morning incense from the fields of May, 470 

As do those brighter drops that twinkling stray 

From those kind eyes, — the very home and haunt 

Of sisterly afiection. Can I want 

Aught else, aught nearer heaven, than such tears ? 

Yet diy them up, in bidding hence all fears 

That, any longer, I will pass my da3rs 

Alone and sad. No, I will once more raise 

My voice upon the mountain-heights ; once more 

Make my horn parley from their foreheads hoar : 

Again my trooping hounds their tongues shall loll 480 

Around ^e breathed boar : again I'll poll 

The fair-grown yew tree, for a chosen bow : 

And, when the pleasant sun is getting low, 

Again 1*11 linger in a sloping mead 

To hear the speckled thrushes, and see feed 

Our idle sheep. So be thou cheered, sweet. 

And, if thy lute is here, softly entreat 

My soul to keep in its resolved course." 

Hereat Peona, in their silver source 
Shut her pure sorrow drops with gbd exclaim, 490 

And took a lute, from which there pulsing came 
A lively prelude, fashioning the way 
In which her voice should wander. 'Twas a lay 
More subtle cadenced, more forest wild 
Than Dryope's lone lulling of her child ; 
And nothing since has floated in the air 
So mournful strange. Surely some influence rare 
Went, spiritual, through the damsel's hand ; 
For still, with Delphic emphasis, she spann'd 
The quick invisible strings, even though she saw 500 
Endymion's spirit melt away and thaw 
Before the deep intoxication. 



8o ENDYMION 

But soon she came, with sudden burst, upon 

Her self-possession — swung the lute aside, 

And earnestly said : '* Brother, *tis vain to hide 

That thou dost know of things mysterious, 

Immortal, starry ; such alone could thus 

Weigh down thy namre. Hast thou sinn*d in aug^ 

Offensive to the heavenly powers ? Giught 

A Paphian dove upon a message sent ? Sic 

Thy deathful bow against some deer-herd bent. 

Sacred to Dian ? Haply, thou hast seen 

Her naked limbs among the alders green ; 

And that, alas 1 is death. No, I can trace 

Something more high perplexing in thy face ! ** 

Endymion lookM at her, and press'd her hand, 
And said, '' Art thou so pale, who wast so bland 
And merry in our meadows ? How is this ? 
Tell me thine ailment : tell me all amiss 1 — 
Ah 1 thou hast been unhappy at the change ^ 

Wrought suddenly in me. What indeed more stizng^^ 
Or more complete to overwhelm surmise ? 
Ambition is no sluggard : 'tis no prize, 
That toiling years would put within my grasp. 
That I have sigh'd for : with so deadly gasp 
No man e*er panted for a mortal love. 
So all have set my heavier grief above 
These things which happen. Rightly have they don^ 
I, who still saw the horizontal sun 

Heave his broad shoulder o'er the edge of the world, ^^^ 
Out-facing Lucifer, and then had hurl'd 
My spear aloft, as signal for the chase — 
I, who, for very sport of heart, would race 
With my own steed from Araby ; pluck down 
A vulmre from his towery perching; frown 
A lion into growling, loth retire — 
To lose, at once, all my toil breeding fire, 
And sink thus low 1 but I will ease my breast 
Of secret grief, here in this bowery nest. 



BOOK I 8i 

" This river does not see the naked sky, S4o 

^m it begins to progress silverly 
-Ajround the western border of the wood, 
"Whence, from a certain spot, its winding flood 
Seems at the distance like a crescent moon : 
And in that nook, the very pride of June, 
!Fiad I been used to pass my weary eves ; 
*The rather for the sun unwilling leaves 
So dear a picture of his sovereign power, 
.And I could witness his most kingly hour, 
^When he doth tighten up the golden reins, 5 So 

And paces leisurely down amber plains 
His snorting four. Now when his chariot last 
Its beams against the zodiac-lion cast. 
There blossom'd suddenly a magic bed 
Of sacred ditamy, and poppies red : 
At which I wonder'd greatly, knowing well 
That but one night had wrought this flowery spell ; 
And, sitting down close by, began to muse 
What it might mean. Perhaps, thought I, Morpheus, 
In passing here, his owlet pinions shook ; 560 

Or, it may be, ere matron Night uptook 
Her ebon urn, young Mercury, by stealth, 
Had dipt his rod in it : such garland wealth 
Came not by common growth. Thus on I thought, 
Until my head was 'dizzy and distraught. 
Moreover, through the dancing poppies stole 
A breeze, most softly lulling to my soul ; 
And shaping visions all about my sight 
Of colours, wings, and bursts of spangly light ; 
The which became more strange, and strange, and dim, 
And then were gulph'd in a tumultuous swim : [570 

And then I fell asleep. Ah 1 can I tell 
The enchantment that afterwards befel ? 
Yet it was but a dream : yet such a dream 
That never tongue, although it overteem 
With mellow utterance, like a cavern spring. 
Could figure out and to conception bring 

G 



82 ENDYMION 

All I beheld and felt. Methought I lay 
Watching the zenith, where the milky way 
Among the stars in virgin splendour pours ; 
And travelling my eye, until the doors 
Of heaven appeared to open for my flight, 
I became loth and fearful to alight 
From such high soaring by a downward glance: 
So kept me steadfast in that airy trance, 
Spreading imaginary pinions wide. 
When, presently, the stars began to glide. 
And faint away, before my eager view : 
At which I sighM that I could not pursue. 
And dropt my vision to the horizon's verge ; 
And lo 1 &om opening clouds, I saw emerge 
The loveliest moon, that ever silver'd o'er 
A shell for Neptune's goblet : she did soar 
So passionately bright, my dazzled soul 
Commingling with her argent spheres did roll 
Through clear and cloudy, even when she went 
At last into a dark and vapoury tent — 
Whereat, methought, the lidless-e3^d train n 
Of planets all were in the blue again. 
To commune with those orbs, once more I raised 
My sight right upward : but it was quite dazed 
By a bright something, sailing down apace, 
Making me quickly veil my eyes and face : 
Again I look'd, and, O ye deities. 
Who from Olympus watch our destinies 1 
Whence that completed form of all completeness ? 
Whence came that high perfection of all sweetness? 
Speak, stubborn earth, and tell me where, O where 
Hast thou a symbol of her golden hair ? 
Not oat-sheaves drooping in the western sun ; 
Not — thy soft hand, fair sister I let me shun 
Such follying before thee — ^yet she had. 
Indeed, locks bright enough to make me mad ; 
And they were simply gordian'd up and braided, 
Leaving, in naked comeliness, unshaded. 



BOOK I 83 

ler pearl round ears, white neck, and orbed brow ; 
le which were blended in, I know not how, 
"^^/"ith such a paradise of lips and eyes, 

^lush-tinted cheeks, half smiles, and faintest sighs, 

t, when I think thereon, my spirit clings 620 

.And plays about its fancy, till the stings 

CX human neighbourhood envenom all. 

XJnto what awful power shall I call ? 

To what high fane ? — Ah I see her hovering feet, 
^ore bludy veinM, more soft, more whitely sweet 
Than those of sea-born Venus, when she rose 
From out her cradle shell. The wind out-blows 
Her scarf into a fluttering pavilion ; 
lis blue, and over-spangled with a million 
Of little eyes, as though thou wert to shed, 630 

Over the darkest, lushest blue-bell bed, 
Handfub of daisies." — ** Endymion, how strange I 
Dream within dream I " — ** She took an airy range. 
And then, towards me, like a very maid, 
Gune blushing, waning, willing, and afraid, 
And pressM me by the hand : Ah 1 'twas too much ; 
Methought I fainted at the charmed touch. 
Yet held my recollection, even as one 
Who dives three fathoms where the waters run 
Gurgling in beds of coral : for anon, 640 

I felt upmounted in that r^on 
Where falling stars dart their artillery forth, 
And eagles struggle with the buffeting north 
That balances the heavy meteor-stone ; — 
Felt too, I was not feaiful, nor alone. 
But lappM and luUM along the dangerous sky. 
Soon, as it seem*d, we left our journeying high. 
And straightway into frightful eddies swoopM ; 
Such as aye muster where grey time has scoop'd 
Huge dens and caverns in a mountain's side : 650 

There hollow sounds aroused me, and I sigh'd 
To faint once more by looking on my bliss — 
I was distracted ; madly did I kiss 

G 2 



84 ENDYMION 

The wooing arms which held me, and did give 

My eyes at once to death : but 'twas to live, 

To take in draughts of life from the gold fount 

Of kind and passionate looks; to count, and coui 

The moments, by some greedy help that seem*d 

A second self, that each might be redeemed 

And plunder'd of its load of blessedness. 66 

Ah, desperate mortal 1 I ev'n dared to press 

Her very cheek against my crowned lip, 

And, at that moment, felt my body dip 

Into a warmer air : a moment more. 

Our feet were soft in flowers. There was store 

Of newest joys upon that alp. Sometimes j 

A scent of violets, and blossoming limes, j 

Loiter'd around us ; then of honey cells, i 

Made delicate from all white-flower bells ; 

And once, above the edges of our nest, ^7o 

An arch face peep'd, — an Oread as I guess*d. 

** Why did I dream that sleep o'er-power'd me 
In midst of all this heaven ? Why not see, 
Far off, the shadows of his pinions dark. 
And stare them from me ? But no, like a spark 
That needs must die, although its little beam 
Reflects upon a diamond, my sweet dream 
Fell into nothing — into stupid sleep. 

And so it was, until a gentle creep, ^^^& 

A careful moving caught my waking ears. 
And up I started : Ah I my sighs, my tears. 
My clenched hands ; — for lo I the poppies hung 
Dew-dabbled on their stalks, the ouzel sung 
A heavy ditty, and the sullen day 
Had chidden herald Hesperus away. 
With leaden looks : the solitary breeze 
Bluster'd, and slept, and its wild self did tease 
With wajnvard melancholy ; and I thought, 
Mark me, Peona 1 that sometimes it brought 
Faint fare-thee-wells, and sigh-shrilled adieus 1— 




BOOK I 8s 

-Away I wander* d — all the pleasant huei 
Of heaven and earth had faded : deepest shaded 
IVere deepest dungeons ; heaths and sunny glades 
Were full of pestilent light ; our taintless rills 
Seem'd sooty, and o*er-spread with uptumM gills 
Of dying fish ; the vermeil rose had blown 
In frightful scarlet, and its thorns out-grown 
Like spiked aloe. If an innocent bird 
Before my heedless footsteps stirr'd, and stirr'd 
In little journeys, I beheld in it 700 

A disguised demon, missioned to knit 
My soul with under darkness ; to entice 
My stumblings down some monstrous precipice : 
Therefore I eager follow*d, and did curse 
The disappointment. Time, that aged nurse, 
Rock'd me to patience. Now, thank gentle heaven ! 
These things, with all their comfortings, are given 
To my down-sunken hours, and with thee, 
Sweet sister, help to stem the ebbing sea 
Of weary life." '710 

Thus ended he, and both 
Sat silent : for the maid was very loth 
To answer ; feeling well that breathed words 
Would all be lost, unheard, and vain as swords 
Against the enchased crocodile, or leaps 
Of grasshoppers against the sun. She weeps. 
And wonders ; struggles to devise some blame ; 
To put on such a look as would say. Shame 
On this poor weakness I but, for all her strife. 
She could as soon have crush*d away the life 720 

From a sick dove. At length, to break the pause. 
She said with trembling chance : '* Is this the cause ? 
This all ? Yet it is strange, and sad, alas I 
That one who through this middle earth should pass 
Most like a sojourning demi-god, and leave 
His name upon the harp-string, should achieve 
No higher bard than simple maidenhood, 
Singing alone, and fearfully, — how the blood 



S6 ENDYMION 

Left his young cheek ; and how he used to stray 

He knew not where ; and how he would say, nay, 730 

If any said 'twas love : and yet 'twas love ; 

What could it be but love ? How a ring-dove 

Let fall a sprig of yew tree in his path ; 

And how he died : and then, that love doth scathe 

The gentle heart, as northern blasts do roses i 

And then the ballad of his sad life closes 

With sighs, and an alas ! — Endymion I 

Be rather in the trumpet's mouth, — anon 

Among the winds at large — that all may hearken 1 

Although, before the crystal heavens darken, 740 

I watch and dote upon the silver lakes 

Pictured in western cloudiness, that takes 

The semblance of gold rocks and bright gold sands, 

Islands, and creeks, and amber-fretted strands 

With horses prancing o'er them, palaces 

And towers of amethyst, — would I so tease 

My pleasant days, because I could not mount 

Into those regions ? The Morphean fount 

Of that fine element that visions, dreams, 

And fitful whims of sleep are made of, streams 750 

Into its airy channels with so subtle. 

So thin a breathing, not the spider's shuttle, 

Circled a million times within the space 

Of a swallow's nest-door, could delay a trace, 

A tinting of its quality : how light 

Must dreams themselves be ; seeing they're more slight 

Than the mere nothing that engenders them I 

Then wherefore sully the entrusted gem 

Of high and noble life with thoughts so sick ? 

Why pierce high-fronted honour to the quick 760 

For nothing but a dream ? " Hereat the youth 

Look'd up : a conflicting of shame and ruth 

Was in his plaited brow : yet, his eyelids 

Widen'd a little, as when Zephyr bids 

A little breeze to creep between the fans 

Of careless butterflies : amid his pains 



fe 



l'-^ 



u - 



BOOK I 87 

He seem'd to taste a drop of manna-dew, 

Full palatable ; and a colour grew 

Upon his cheek, while thus he llfeful spake. 

** Peona ! ever have I long*d to slake 770 

My thirst for the world's praises : nothing base, 
No merely slumberous phantasm, could unlace 
The stubborn canvas for my voyage prepared — 
Though now 'tis tatter'd ; leaving my bark bared 
And sullenly drifting : yet my higher hope 
Is of too wide, too rainbow-large a scope. 
To fret at myriads of earthly wrecks. 
Wherein lies happiness ? In that which becks 
Our ready minds to fellowship divine, 
A fellowship with essence ; till we shine, 780 

Full alchemized, and free of space. Behold 
The clear religion of heaven I Fold 
A rose leaf round thy finger's tapemess. 
And soothe thy lips : hist, when the airy stress 
Of music's kiss Impregnates the free winds. 
And with a sympathetic touch unbinds 
Eolian magic from their lucid wombs : 
Then old songs waken from endouded tombs ; 
Old ditties sigh above their father's grave ; 
Ghosts of melodious prophesyings rave 790 

Round every spot where trod Apollo's foot ; 
Bronze clarions awake, and faintly bruit, 
Where long ago a giant battle was ; 
And, from the turf, a lullaby doth pass 
In every place where infant Orpheus slept. 
Feel we these things ? — that moment have we stept 
Into a sort of oneness, and our state 
Is like a floating spirit's. But there are 
Richer entanglements, enthralments far 
More self-destroying, leading, by degrees, 800 

To the chief intensity : the crown of these 
Is made of love and friendship, and sits high 
Upon the forehead of humanity. 



88 ENDYMIOh 

All its more ponderous and bulky worth 

Is friendship, whence there ever issues forth 

A steady splendour ; but at the tip-top, 

There hangs by unseen film, an orbed drop 

Of light, and that is love : its influence. 

Thrown in our eyes, genders a novel sense. 

At which we start and fret ; till in the end. 

Melting into its radiance, we blend. 

Mingle, and so become a part of it, — 

Nor with aught else can our souls interknit 

So wingedly : when we combine therewith. 

Life's self is nourish'd by its proper pith, 

And we are nurtured like a pelican brood. 

Ay, so delicious is the unsating food. 

That men, who might have tower'd in the van 

Of all the congregated world, to fan 

And winnow from the coming step of time 

All chaff of custom, wipe away all slime 

Left by men-slugs and human serpentry. 

Have been content to let occasion die. 

Whilst they did sleep in love's elysium. 

And, truly, I would rather be struck dumb. 

Than speak against this ardent listlessness : 

For I have ever thought that it might bless 

The world with benefits unknowingly ; 

As does the nightingale, upperched high. 

And doister'd among cool and bunched leaves — 

She sings but to her love, nor e'er conceives 

How tiptoe Night holds back her dark-^grey hood. 

Just so may love, although *tis understood 

The mere commingling of passionate breath. 

Produce more than our searching wimesseth : 

What I know not : but who, of men, can tell 

That flowers would bloom, or that green fruit would 

To melting pulp, that fish would have bright mail. 

The earth its dower of river, wood, and vale, 

The meadows runnels, runnels pebble-stones, 

The seed its harvest, or the lute its tones. 



BOOK I 89 

Tones ravishment, or ravishment its sweet, 
If human souls did never kiss and greet? 

" Now, if this earthly love has power to make 
Men's being mortal, immortal ; to shake 
Ambition from their memories, and brim 
Their measure of content ; what merest whim, 
Seems all this poor endeavour after fame, 
To one, who keeps within his steadfast aim 
A love immortal, an immortal too. 850 

Look not so wilder*d ; for thes^ things are true. 
And never can be bom of atomies 
That buzz about our slumbers, like brain-flies, 
Leaving us fancy-sick. No, no, Fm siure, 
My restless spirit never could endure 
To brood so long upon one luxury. 
Unless it did, though fearfully, espy 
A hope beyond the shadow of a dream. 
My sayings will the less obscured seem 
When I have told thee how my waking sight 860 

Has made me scruple whether that same night 
Was pass'd in dreaming. Hearken, sweet Peona 1 
Beyond the matron-temple of Latona, 
Which we should see but for these darkening boughs. 
Lies a deep hoUow, from whose ragged brows 
Bushes and trees do lean all round athwart, 
And meet so nearly, that with wings outraught, 
And spreaded tail, a vulture could not glide 
Past them, but he must brush on every side. 
Some moulder'd steps lead into this cool cell, 870 

Far as the slabbed margin of a well. 
Whose patient level peeps its crystal eye 
Right upward, through the bushes, to the sky. 
Oft have I brought thee flowers, on their stalks set 
Like vestal primroses, but dark velvet 
Edges them round, and they have golden pits : 
Twas there I got them, from the gaps and slits 
In a mossy stone, that sometimes was my seat, 



9u ENDYMION 

When all above was faint with mid-day heat. 

And there in strife no burning thoughts to heed, ^ 

Yd bubble up the water through a reed ; 

So reaching back to boy-hood : make me ships 

Of moulted feathers, touchwood, alder chips. 

With leaves stuck in them ; and the Neptune be 

Of their petty ocean. Oftener, heavily. 

When love-lorn hours had left me less a child, 

I sat contemplating the figures wild 

Of o*er-head clouds melting the mirror through. 

Upon a day, while thus I watch*d, by flew 

A cloudy Cupid, with his bow and quiver ; S 

So plainly charactered, no breeze would shiver 

The happy chance : so happy, I was fain 

To follow it upon the open plain, 

And, therefore, was just going ; when, behold ! 

A wonder, fair as any I have told — 

The same bright face I tasted in my sleep. 

Smiling in the clear well. My heart did leap 

Through the cool depth. — It moved as if to flee — 

I started up, when lo ! refreshfully. 

There came upon my face, in plenteous showers, ^ 

Dew-drops, and dewy buds, and leaves, and flowers. 

Wrapping all objects from my smother'd sight, 

Bathing my spirit in a new delight. 

Ay, such a breathless honey-feel of bliss 

Alone preserved me from the drear abyss 

Of death, for the fair form had gone again. 

Pleasure is oft a visitant ; but pain 

Clings cruelly to us, like the gnawing sloth 

On the deer's tender haunches : late, and loth, 

'Tis scared away by slow returning pleasure. 9 

How sickening, how dark the dreadful leisure 

Of weary days, made deeper exquisite. 

By a fore-knowledge of unslumbrous night I 

Like sorrow came upon me, heavier still, 

Than when I wander'd from the poppy hill : 

And a whole age of lingering moments crept 



BOOK I 91 

Sluggishly by, ere more contentment swept 

Away at once the deadly yellow spleen. 

Yes, thrice have I this fair enchantment seen ; 

Once more been tortured with renewed life. 920 

"When last the wintry gusts gave over strife 

^With the conquering sun of spring, and left the skies 

^arm and serene, but yet with moistened eyes 

In pity of the shatter'd infant buds, — 

That time thou didst adorn, with amber studs, 

My hunting cap, because I laugh'd and smiled, 

Chatted with thee, and many da3rs exiled 

All torment from my breast; — 'twas even then. 

Straying about, yet, coop*d up in the den 

Of helpless discontent, — hurling my lance 930 

From place to place, and following at chance. 

At last, by hap, through some young trees it struck. 

And, plashing among bedded pebbles, stuck 

In the middle of a brook, — whose silver ramble 

Down twenty little falls, through reeds and bramble. 

Tracing along, it brought me to a cave, 

Whence it ran brightly forth, and white did lave 

The nether sides of mossy stones and rock, — 

'Mong which it gurgled blithe adieus, to mock 

Its own sweet grief at parting. Overhead 940 

Hung a lush screen of drooping weeds, and spread 

Thick, as to curtain up some wood-nymph's home. 

* Ah ! impious mortal, whither do I roam? ' 

Said I, low voiced : 'Ah, whither I *Tis the grot 

Of Proserpine, when Hell, obscure and hot. 

Doth her resign ; and where her tender hands 

She dabbles, on the cool and sluicy sands : 

Or 'tis the cell of Echo, where she sits. 

And babbles thorough silence, till her wits 

Are gone in tender madness, and anon, 950 

Faints into sleep, with many a dying tone 

Of sadness. O that she would take my vows, 

And breathe them sighingly among the boughs. 

To sue her gentle ears for whose fair head, 

Daily, I pluck sweet flowerets from their bed, 



92 ENDYMION 

And weave them dyingly — send honey-whisper^ 
Round every leaf, that all those gentle lispers 
May sigh my love unto her pitying ! 
O charitable echo ! hear, and sing 
This ditty to her 1 — tell her ' — so I sta3^d 
My foolish tongue, and listening, half afraid, 
Stood stupefied with my own empty folly. 
And blushing for the freaks of melancholy. 
Salt tears were coming, when I heard my name 
Most fondly lipp*d, and then these accents came ; 
* Endymion ! the cave is secreter 
Than the isle of Delos. Echo hence shall stir 
No sighs but sigh-warm kisses, or light noise 
Of thy combing hand, the while it travelling cloys 
And trembles through my labyrinthine hair.* 
At that oppress'd I hurried in. — Ah ! where 
Are those swift moments I Whither are they fled ? 
m smile no more, Peona ; nor will wed 
Sorrow, the way to death ; but patiently 
Bear up against it : so farewell, sad sigh ; 
And come instead demurest meditation, 
To occupy me wholly, and to fashion 
My pilgrimage for the world's dusky brink. 
No more will I count over, link by link, 
My chain of grief : no longer strive to find 
A half-forgetfulness in mountain wind 
Blustering about my ears : ay, thou shalt see, 
Dearest of sisters, what my life shall be ; 
What a calm round of hours shall make my days. 
There is a paly flame of hope that plays 
Where'er I look : but yet, I'll say 'tis naught — 
And here I bid it die. Have not I caught. 
Already, a more healthy countenance ? 
By this the sun is setting ; we may chance 
Meet some of our near-dwellers with my car." 

This said, he rose, faint-smiling like a star 
Through autumn mists, and took Peona's hand : 
They stept into the boat, and launch'd firom land. 



BOOK II 

O SOVEREIGN power of love I O grief 1 O balm ! 
All records, saving thine, come cool, and calm, 
And shadowy, through the mist of passed years : 
For others, good or bad, hatred and tears 
Have become indolent ; but touching thine, 
One sigh doth echo, one poor sob doth pine, 
One kiss brings honey-dew from buried days. 
The woes of Troy, towers smothering o'er their blaze, 
Stiff-holden shields, far-piercing spears, keen blades, 
Struggling, and blood, and shrieks — all dimly fades lo 
Into some backward comer of the brain ; 
Yet, in our very souls, we feel amain 
The close of Troilus and Cressid sweet. 
Hence, pageant history ! hence, gilded cheat 1 
Swart planet in the universe of deeds ! 
Wide sea, that one continuous murmur breeds 
Along the pebbled shore of memory 1 
Many old rotten-timberM boats there be 
Upon thy vaporous bosom, magnified 
To goodly vessels ; many a sail of pride, 20 

And golden keel'd, is left unlaunch'd and dry. 
But wherefore this? What care, though owl did fly 
About the great Athenian admiral's mast ? 
What care, though striding Alexander past 
The Indus with his Macedonian numbers ? 
Though old Ulysses tortured from his slumbers 
The glutted Cyclops, what care ?— Juliet leaning 



94 



ENDYMION 

Amid her window-flowers, — sighing, — weaning 
Tenderly her fancy from its maiden snow, 
Doth more avail than these : the silver flow 
Of Hero's tears, the swoon of Imogen, 
Fair Pastorella in the bandit's den, 
Are things to brood on with more ardency 
Than the death-day of empires. Fearfully 
Must such conviction come upon his head, 
Who, thus far, discontent, has dared to tread, 
Without one muse's smile, or kind behest. 
The path of love and poesy. But rest. 
In chafing restlessness, is yet more drear 
Than to be crush'd, in striving to uprear 
Love's standard on the battlements of song. 
So once more, days and nights, aid me along. 
Like legion'd soldiers. 

Brain-^ck shepherd prince, 
What promise hast thou faithful guarded since 
The day of sacrifice ? Or, have new sorrows 
Come with the constant dawn upon thy morrows ? 
Alas I 'tis his old grief. For many days. 
Has he been wandering in uncertain ways : 
Through wilderness, and woods of mossed oaks ; 
Counting his woe-worn minutes, by the strokes 
Of the lone woodcutter ; and listening still. 
Hour after hour, to each lush-leaved rill. 
Now he is sitting by a shady spring. 
And elbow-deep with feverous fingering 
Stems the upbursting cold : a wild rose tree 
Pavilions him in bloom, and he doth see 
A bud which snares his fancy : lo I but now 
He plucks it, dips its stalk in the water : how I 
It swells, it buds, it flowers beneath his sight ; 
And, in the middle, there is softly pight 
A golden butterfly ; upon whose wings 
There must be surely character'd strange things, 
For with wide eye he wonders, and smiles oft. 



BOOK II 9$ 

Lightly this little herald flew aloft, 
Follow'd by glad Endymion's clasped hands : 
Onward it flies. From languor's sullen bands 
His limbs are loosed, and eager, on he hies 
Dazzled to trace it in the sunny skies. 
It seem'd he flew, the way so easy was ; 70 

And like a new-bom spirit did he pass 
Through the green evening quiet in the sun. 
O'er many a heath, through many a woodland dun. 
Through buried paths, where sleepy twilight dreams 
The summer time away. One track unseams 
A wooded cleft, and, far away, the blue 
Of ocean fades upon him ; then, anew, 
He sinks adown a solitary glen, 
Where there was never sound of mortal men, 
Saving, perhaps, some snow-light cadences 80 

Melting to silence, when upon the breeze 
Some holy bark let forth an anthem sweet. 
To cheer itself to Delphi. Still his feet 
Went swift beneath the merry-winged guide, 
Until it reached a splashing fountain's side ' 
That, near a cavern's mouth, for ever pour'd 
Unto the temperate air: then high it soar'd. 
And, downward, suddenly began to dip. 
As if, athirst with so much toil, 'twould sip 
The crystal spout-head : so it did, with touch 90 

Most delicate, as though afraid to smutch 
Even with mealy gold the waters clear. 
But, at that very touch, to disappear 
So fairy-quick, was strange 1 Bewildered, 
Endymion sought around, and shook each bed 
Of covert flowers in vain ; and then he flung 
Himself along the grass. What gentle tongue, 
What whisperer disturb'd his gloomy rest ? 
It was a nymph uprisen to the breast 
In the fountain's pebbly margin, and she stood 100 

'Mong lilies, like the youngest of the brood. 
To him her dripping hand she softly kist. 



96 ENDYMION 

And anxiously began to plait and twist 

Her ringlets round her fingers, saying : " Youth ! 

Too long, alas, hast thou starved on the ruth, 

The bitterness of love : too long indeed. 

Seeing thou art so gentle. Could I weed 

Thy soul of care, by heavens, I would offer 

All the bright riches of my crystal coffer 

To Amphitrite ; all my clear-eyed fish, 

Golden, or rainbow-sided, or purplish, 

Vermilion-tail'd, or finn*d with silvery gauze ; 

Yea, or my veined pebble-floor, that draws 

A virgin light to the deep ; my grotto-sands, 

Tawny and gold, oozed slowly from far lands 

By my diligent springs ; my level lilies, shells. 

My charming rod, my potent river spells; 

Yes, everything, even to the pearly cup 

Meander gave me, — for I bubbled up 

To fainting creatures in a desert wild. 

But woe is me, I am but as a child 

To gladden thee ; and all I dare to say, 

Is, that I pity thee ; that on this day 

Fve been thy guide; that thou must wander far 

In other regions, past the scanty bar 

To mortal steps, before thou canst be ta'en 

From every wasting sigh, fi-om every pain, 

Into the gentle bosom of thy love. 

Why it is thus, one knows in heaven above : 

But, a poor Naiad, I guess not. Farewell ! 

I have a ditty for my hollow cell." 

Hereat, she vanished from Endymion's gaze, 
Who brooded o'er the water in amaze : 
The dashing fount pour'd on, and where its pool 
Lay, half asleep, in grass and rushes cool, 
Qpick waterfiies and gnats were sporting still, 
And fish were dimpling, as if good nor ill 
Had fallen out that hour. The wanderer. 
Holding his forehead, to keep off the burr 



BOOK II 97 

Of smothering fancies, patiently sat down ; 140 

And, while beneath the evening's sleepy frown 
Glow-worms began to trim their starry lamps, 

Thus breathed he to himself : " Whoso encamps 

To take a fancied city of delight, 

O what a wretch is he ! and when 'tis his, 

After long toil and travelling, to miss 

The kernel of his hopes, how more than vile : 

Yet, for him there's refreshment even in toil ; 

Another city doth he set about. 

Free from the smallest pebble-bead of doubt 150 

That he will seize on trickling honey-combs : 

AJas, he finds them dry; and then he foams. 

And onward to another city speeds. 

But this is human life : the war, the deeds. 

The disappointment, the anxiety. 

Imagination's struggles, far and nigh. 

All human; bearing in themselves this good. 

That they are still the air, the subtle food. 

To make us feel existence, and to show 

How quiet death is. Where soil is men grow, 160 

Whether to weeds or flowers; but for me, 

There is no depth to strike in : I can see 

Nought earthly worth my compassing; so stand 

Upon a misty, jutting head of land — 

Alone ? No, no ; and by the Orphean lute, 

When mad Eurydice is listening to 't, 

Fd rather stand upon this misty peak. 

With not a thing to sigh for, or to seek. 

But the soft shadow of my thrice-seen love, 

Than be — I care not what. O meekest dove 170 

Of heaven 1 O C3mthia, ten-times bright and fair ! 

From thy blue throne, now filling all the air. 

Glance but one little beam of temper'd light 

Into my bosom, that the dreadful might 

And tyranny of love be somewhat scared ! 

Yet do not so, sweet queen ; one torment spared 

Would give a pang to jealous misery^ 

H 



/ 



/ 98 ENDYMION 



Worse than the torment's self: but rather tie 

Large wings upon my shoulders, and point out 

My love's far dwelling. Though the playful rout 

Of Cupids shun thee, too divine art thou, 

Too keen in beauty, for thy silver prow 

Not to have dippM in love's most gentle stream. 

O be propitious, nor severely deem 

My madness impious ; for, by all the stars 

That tend thy bidding, I do think the bars 

That kept my spirit in are burst — that I 

Am sailing with thee through the dizzy sky I 

How beautiful thou art 1 The world how deep I 

How tremulous-dazzlingly the wheels sweep 

Around their axle 1 Then these gleaming reins. 

How lithe I When this thy chariot attains 

Its airy goal, haply some bower veils 

Those twilight eyes ? Those eyes ! — my spirit fails— 

Dear goddess, help ! or the wide-gaping air 

Will gulph me— help 1 " — At this, with madden'd star 

And lifted hands, and trembling lips, he stood; 

Like old Deucalion mountain'd o'er the flood, 

Or blind Orion hungry for the morn. 

And, but &om the deep cavern there was borne 

A voice, he had been froze to senseless stone ; 

Nor sigh of his, nor plaint, nor passion'd moan 

Had more been heard. Thus swell'd it forth: **Des< 

Young mountaineer 1 descend where alle3rs bend 

Into the sparry hollows of the world I 

Oft hast thou seen bolts of the thunder hurl'd 

As from thy threshold ; day by day hast been 

A little lower than the chilly sheen 

Of icy pinnacles, and dipp'dst thine arms 

Into the deadening ether that still charms 

Their marble being: now, as deep profound 

As those are high, descend I He ne'er is crown' d 

With immortality, who fears to follow 

Where airy voices lead : so through the hollow, 

The silent msyteries of earth, descend I " 



BOOK II 99 

He heard but the last words, nor could contend 

ne moment in reflection : for he fled 
Irjto the fearful deep, to hide his head 
F^rom the clear moon, the trees, and coming madness. 

*Twas far too strange and wonderful for sadness ; 220 
Sharpening, by degrees, his appetite 
To dive into the deepest. Dark, nor light. 
The region ; nor bright, nor sombre wholly, 
But mingled up ; a gleaming melancholy; 
A dusky empire and its diadems ; 
One faint eternal eventide of gems. 
Ay, millions sparkled on a vein of gold, 
Along whose track the prince quick footsteps told. 
With all its lines abrupt and angular : 
Out-shooting sometimes, like a meteor-star, 230 

Through a vast autre ; then the metal woof. 
Like Vulcan's rainbow, with some monstrous roof 
Curves hugely : now, far in the deep abyss, 
It seems an angry lightning, and doth hiss 
Fancy into belief: anon it leads 
Through winding passages, where sameness breeds 
Vexing conceptions of some sudden change ; 
Whether to silver grots, or giant range 
Of sapphire columns, or fantastic bridge 
Athwart a flood of crystal. On a ridge 240 

Now fareth he, that o*er the vast beneath 
Towers like an ocean-clifl", and whence he seeth 
A hundred waterfalls, whose voices come 
But as the murmuring surge. Chilly and numb 
His bosom grew, when first he, far away, 
Descried an orbed diamond, set to fray 
Old darkness from his throne : 'twas like the sun 
Uprisen o'er chaos : and with such a stun 
Came the amazement, that, absorb'd in it, 
He saw not fiercer wonders — past the wit 230 

Of any spirit to tell, but one of those 
Who, when this planet's sphering time doth dose, 

H 2 



loo ENDYMION 

Will be its high remembrancers : who they? 

The mighty ones who have made eternal day 

For Greece and England. While astonishment 

With deep-drawn sighs was quieting, he went 

Into a marble gallery, passing through 

A mimic temple, so complete and true 

In sacred custom, that he well nigh fear'd 

To search it inwards ; whence far off appeared, 

Through a long pillar'd vista, a fair shrine, 

And, just beyond, on light tiptoe divine, 

A quiver'd Dian. Stepping awfully. 

The youth approached; oft turning his veil*d eye 

Down sidelong aisles, and into niches old : 

And, when more near against the marble cold 

He had touchM his forehead, he began to thread 

All courts and passages, where silence dead, 

Roused by his whispering footsteps, murmur'd £sdnt 

And long he traversed to and fro, to acquaint 

Himself with every mystery, and awe; 

Till, weary, he sat down before the maw 

Of a wide outlet, fathomless and dim, 

To wild uncertainty and shadows grim. 

There, when new wonders ceased to float before, 

And thoughts of self came on, how crude and sore 

The journey homeward to habitual self 1 

A nud-pursuing of the fog-bom elf. 

Whose flitting lantern, through rude nettle-briar, 

Cheats us into a swamp, into a Are, 

Into the bosom of a hated thing. 

What misery most drowningly doth sing 
In lone Endymion*s ear, now he has caught 
The goal of consciousness? Ah, 'tis the thought. 
The deadly feel of solitude: for lo I 
He cannot see the heavens, nor the flow 
Of rivers, nor hill-flowers running wild 
In pink and purple chequer, nor, up-piled, 
The cloudy rack slow journeying in the west. 



BOOK II loi 

X^ike herded elephants ; nor felt, nor prest 290 

dool grass, nor tasted the fresh slumberous air; 

^ut far from such companionship to wear 

.An unknown time, surcharged with grief, away, 

^Was now his lot. And must he patient stay, 

Tracing fantastic figures with his spear ? 

** No ! " exclaim'd he, ** why should I tarry here? " 

Ko I loudly echoed times innumerable. 

At which he straightway started, and 'gan tell 

His paces back into the temple's chief ; 

Warming and glowing strong in the belief 300 

Of help from Dian : so that when again 

He caught her airy form, thus did he plain. 

Moving more near the while : ** O Haunter chaste 

Of river sides, and woods, and heathy waste, 

Where with thy silver bow and arrows keen 

Art thou now forested ? O woodland Qpeen, 

What smoothest air thy smoother forehead woos ? 

Where dost thou listen to the wide halloos 

Of thy disparted nymphs ? Through what dark tree 

Gliomiers thy crescent ? Wheresoe'er it be, 310 

'Tis in the breath of heaven : thou dost taste 

Freedom as none can taste it, nor dost waste 

Thy loveliness in dismal elements ; 

But, finding in our green earth sweet contents, 

There livest blissfully. Ah, if to thee 

It feels Elysian, how rich to me. 

An exiled mortal, sounds its pleasant name 1 

Within my breast there lives a choking flame — 

O let me cool it zeph3rr-boughs among 1 

A homeward fever parches up my tongue — 320 

O let me slake it at the running springs 1 

Upon my ear a noisy nothing rings — 

O let me once more hear the linnet's note 1 

Before mine eyes thick films and shadows float— > 

O let me 'noint them with the heaven's light I 

Dost thou now lave thy feet and ankles white ? 

O think how sweet to me the freshening sluice 1 



102 ENDYMION 

Dost thou now please thy thirst with berry-juice ? 
O think how this dry palate would rejoice 1 
If in soft slumber thou dost hear my voice, 
O think how I should love a bed of flowers I — 
Young goddess 1 let me see my native bowers I 
Deliver me from this rapacious deep 1 '* 

Thus ending loudly, as he would o'erleap 
His destiny, alert he stood : but when 
Obstinate silence came heavily again. 
Feeling about for its old couch of space 
And airy cradle, lowly bow'd his face. 
Desponding, o*er the marble floor's cold thrill. 
But 'twas not long ; for sweeter than the rill 
To its old channel, or a swollen tide 
To margin sallows, were the leaves he spied. 
And flowers, and wreaths, and ready m3rrtle crowns 
Up heaping through the slab ; refreshment drowns 
Itself, and strives its own delights to hide — 
Nor in one spot alone ; the floral pride 
In a long whispering birth enchanted grew 
Before his footsteps ; as when heaved anew 
Old ocean rolls a lengthened wave to the shore, 
Down whose green back the short-lived foam, all ha 
Bursts gradual, with a wayward indolence. 

Increasing still in heart, and pleasant sense, 
Upon his fairy journey on he hastes; 
So anxious for the end, he scarcely wastes 
One moment with his hand among the sweets : 
Onward he goes — he stops — his bosom beats 
As plainly in his ear, as the faint charm 
Of which the throbs were bom. This still alarm, 
This sleepy music, forced him walk tiptoe : 
For it came more softly than the east could blow 
Arion's magic to the Atlantic isles; 
Or than the west, made jealous by the smiles 
Of throned Apollo, could breathe back the lyre 
To seas Ionian and Tyrian. 



BOOK II 103 

O did he ever live, that lonely man, 
Who loved — and music slew not? HHs the pest 
Of love, that fairest joys give most unrest ; 
That things of delicate and tenderest worth 
Are swallow'd all, and made a seared dearth, 
By one consuming Hame : it doth immerse 370 

And suffocate true blessings in a curse. 
Half-happy, by comparison of bliss, 
Is miserable. 'Twas even so with this 
Dew-dropping melody, in the Carian's ear ; 
First heaven, then hell, and then forgotten clear. 
Vanished in elemental passion. 

And down some swart abysm he had gone, 
Had not a heavenly guide benignant led 
To where thick myrtle branches, 'gainst his head 
Brushing, awaken'd : then the sounds again 380 

Went noiseless as a passing noontide rain 
Over a bower, where little space he stood ; 
For as the sunset peeps into a wood. 
So saw he panting light, and towards it went 
Through winding alleys ; and lo, wonderment I 
Upon soft verdure saw, one here, one there, 
Cupids a slumbering on their pinions fair. 

After a thousand mazes overgone. 
At last, with sudden step, he came upon 
A chamber, myrtle wall'd, embower'd high, 390 

Full of light, incense, tender minstrelsy. 
And more of beautiful and strange beside : 
For on a silken couch of rosy pride. 
In midst of all, there lay a sleeping youth 
Of fondest beauty ; fonder, in fair sooth. 
Than sighs could fathom, or contentment reach ; 
And coverlids gold-tinted like the peach, 
Or ripe October's faded marigolds. 
Fell sleek about him in a thousand folds — 
Not hiding up an Apollonian curve 400 



i04 EXDYMIOS 

Of neck and shoulder, nor die tenting swove 
Of knee firom knee, nor ankles pointing light ; 
But rather, giving them to the filled sight 
Officiously. Sideway his Eice reposed 
On one white arm, and tenderly mKlosed, 
By tenderest pressure, a faint damask mouth 
To slumbery pout ; just as the morning socxth 
Disparts a dew-lipp'd rose. Above his head. 
Four lily stalks did their white honours wed 
To make a coronal ; and round him grew 
All tendrils green, of every bloom and hoe. 
Together intertwined and trammellM firesh : 
The vine of glossy sprout ; the ivy mesh. 
Shading its Ethiop berries ; and woodbine. 
Of velvet leaves and bugle-blooms divine ; 
Convolvulus in streaked vases flush ; 
The creeper, mellowing for an aotmmi bhish ; 
And virgin's bower, trailing airUy ; 
With others of the ^erhood. Hard by. 
Stood serene Cupids watching silently. 
One, kneeling to a lyre, touched the strings. 
Muffling to death the pathos with his wings; 
And, ever and anon, uprose to look 
At the youth's slumber ; while another took 
A willow-bough, distilling odorous dew, 
And shook it on his hair ; another flew 
In through the woven roof, and fluttering-wise 
Rain*d violets upon his sleeping eyes. 

At these enchantments, and yet many more. 
The breathless Latmian wonder*d o'er and o*er ; 
Until, impatient in embarrassment. 
He forthright passed, and lightly treading went 
To that same feather'd lyrist, who straightway. 
Smiling, thus whisper'd : ** Though from upper d 
Thou art a wanderer, and thy presence here 
Might seem unholy, be of happy cheer I 
For 'tis the nicest touch of human honour, 



BOOK II los 

When some ethereal and high-favouring donor 

Presents immortal bowers to mortal sense ; 

As now 'tis done to thee, Endymion. Hence 440 

^as I in no wise startled. So recline 

Upon these living flowers. Here is wine, 

Alive with sparkles — never, I aver, 

Since Ariadne was a vintager, 

So cool a purple : taste these juicy pears, 

Sent me by sad Vertimmus, when his fears 

Were high about Pomona : here is cream. 

Deepening to richness from a snowy gleam ; 

Sweeter than that nurse Amalthea skinmi'd 

For the boy Jupiter: and here, undimm'd 450 

By any touch, a bunch of blooming plums 

Ready to melt between an infant's gums : 

And here is manna pickM from Syrian trees. 

In starlight, by the three Hesperides. 

Feast on, and meanwhile I will let thee know 

Of all these things around us." He did so. 

Still brooding o'er the cadence of his lyre ; 

And thus : ** I need not any hearing tire 

By telling how the sea-bom goddess pined 

For a mortal youth, and how she strove to bind 460 

Him all in all unto her doting self. 

Who would not be so prison'd ? but, fond elf, 

He was content to let her amorous plea 

Faint through his careless arms ; content to see 

An unseized heaven dying at his feet ; 

G)ntent, O fool I to make a cold retreat, 

When on the pleasant grass such love, lovelorn, 

Lay sorrowing ; when every tear was bom 

Of diverse passion ; when her lips and eyes 

Were closed in sullen moisture, and quick sighs 470 

Came vex'd and pettish through her nostrils small. 

Hush 1 no exclaim — yet, justly mightst thou call 

Curses upon his head. — I was half glad. 

But my poor mistress went distraa and mad, 

When the boar tusk'd him : so away she flew 



io6 ENDYMION 

To Jove's high throne, and by her plainmgs drew "^ 

Immortal tear-drops down the thunderer's beard ; 

Whereon, it was decreed he should be rear'd 

Each summer time to life. Lo 1 this is he, 

That same Adonis, safe in the privacy ^^ 

Of this still region all his winter-sleep. 

Ay, sleep ; for when our love-sick queen did weep 

Over his waned corse, the tremulous shower 

Heal'd up the wound, and, with a balmy power, 

Medicined death to a lengthened drowsiness : 

The which she fills with visions, and doth dress 

In all this quiet luxury ; and hath set 

Us young immortals, without any let, i 

To watch his slumber through. 'Tis well nigh pas^^'4 

Even to a moment's filling up, and fast 4^ 

She scuds with summer breezes, to pant through 

The first long kiss, warm firstling, to renew 

Embower'd sports in Cytherea's isle. 

Look 1 how those winged listeners all this while 

Stand anxious : see 1 behold 1 " — This clamant word 

Broke through the careful silence ; for they heard 

A rustling noise of leaves, and out there flutter'd 

Pigeons and doves : Adonis something mutter'd. 

The while one hand, that erst upon his thigh 

Lay dormant, moved convulsed and gradually 

Up to his forehead. Then there was a hum 

Of sudden voices, echoing, ** Come I come I 

Arise 1 awake 1 Clear summer has forth walk'd 

Unto the clover-sward, and she has talk'd 

Full soothingly to every nested finch : 

Rise, Cupids 1 or we'll give the blue-bell pinch 

To your dimpled arms. Once more sweet life begin ! 

At this, from every side they hurried in, 

Rubbing their sleepy eyes with lazy wrists, 

And doubling over head their little fists > ^^ 

In backward yawns. But all were soon alive : 

For as delicious wine doth, sparkling, dive 

In nectar'd clouds and curls through water fair. 



.00 



9* 



BOOK II 107 

So from the arbour roof down swell'd an air 

Odorous and enlivening ; making all 

To laugh, and play, and sing, and loudly call 

For their sweet queen : when lo ! the wreathed green 

Disparted, and far upward could be seen 

Blue heaven, and a silver car, air-borne. 

Whose silent wheels, fresh wet from clouds of mom, $20 

Spun off a drizzling dew, — which falling chill 

On soft Adonis* shoulders, made him still 

Nestle and turn uneasily about. 

Soon were the white doves plain, with necks stretch'd out. 

And silken traces lightened in descent ; 

And soon, returning from love's banishment, 

Qjieen Venus leaning downward open arm*d : 

Her shadow fell upon his breast, and charm*d 

A tumult to his heart, and a new life 

Into his eyes. Ah, miserable strife, 5 30 

But for her comforting I unhappy sight, 

But meeting her blue orbs I Who, who can write 

Of these first minutes ? The unchariest muse 

To embracements warm as theirs makes coy excuse. 

O it has ruffled every spirit there, 
Saving love*s self, who stands superb to share 
The general gladness : awfully he stands ; 
A sovereign quell is in his waving hands ; 
No sight can bear the lightning of his bow ; 540 

His quiver is mysterious, none can know 
What themsdves think of it ; from forth his eyes 
There darts strange light of varied hues and dyes : 
A scowl is sometimes on hb brow, but who 
Look full upon it feel anon the blue 
Of his fair eyes run liquid through their soub. 
Endymion feeb it, and no more controls 
The burning prayer within him ; so, bent low. 
He had begun a plaining of his woe. 
But Venus, bending forward, said : ** My child. 
Favour this gentle youth ; his days are wild 550 



108 ENDYMION 

With love — he — but alas ! too well I see 

Thou know*st the deepness of his misery. 

Ah, smile not so, my son : I tell thee true, 

That when through heavy hours I used to rue 

The endless sleep of this new-bom Adon', 

This stranger aye I pitied. For upon 

A dreary morning once I Red away 

Into the breezy clouds, to weep and pray 

For this my love : for vexing Mars had teased 

Me even to tears : thence, when a little eased, ; 

Down-looking, vacant, through a hazy wood, 

I saw this youth as he despairing stood : 

Those same dark curls blown vagrant in the wind ; ^ 

Those same full fringed lids a constant blind 

Over his sullen eyes : I saw him throw 

Himself on wither*d leaves, even as though 

Death had come sudden ; for no jot he moved. 

Yet mutter'd wildly. I could hear he loved j 

Some fair immortal, and that his embrace 

Had zoned her through the night. There is no trao^^ ^'^ 

Of this in heaven : I have mark*d each cheek, , 

And find it is the vainest thing to seek ; 

And that of all things *tis kept secretest. 

£nd3rmion I one day thou wilt be blest : 

So still obey the guiding hand that fends 

Thee safely through these wonders for sweet ends. 

*Tis a concealment needful in extreme ; 

And if I guess'd not so, the sunny beam 

Thou shouldst mount up to with me. Now adieu I 

Here must we leave thee." — At these words up flew 

The impatient doves, up rose the floating car, 

Up went the hum celestial. High afar 

The Latmian saw them minish into nought ; 

And, when all were clear vanishM, still he caught 

A vivid lighming from that dreadful bow. 

When all was darkened, with Etnean throe 

The earth closed — gave a solitary moan — 

And left him once again in twilight Icme. 



^ 



\ 



BOOK II 109 

He did not rave, he did not stare aghast, 
For all those visions were o'ergone, and past, 590 

And he in loneliness : he felt assured 
Of happy times, when all he had endured 
Would seem a feather to the mighty prize. 
So, with unusual gladness, on he hies 
Through caves, and palaces of mottled ore, 
Gold dome, and crystal wall, and turquois floor. 
Black polish'd porticoes of awful shade. 
And, at the last, a diamond balustrade. 
Leading afar past wild magnificence. 
Spiral through ruggedest loopholes, and thence 600 

Stretching across a void, then guiding o*er 
Enormous chasms, where, all foam and roar. 
Streams subterranean tease their granite beds ; 
Then heighten'd just above the silvery heads 
CX a thousand foimtains, so that he could dash 
The waters with his spear ; but at the splash. 
Done heedlessly, those spouting columns rose 
Sudden a poplar's height, and 'gan to enclose 
His diamond path with fretwork, streaming round 
Alive, and dazzling cool, and with a sound, 610 

Haply, like dolphin mmults, when sweet shells 
Welcome the float of Thetis. Long he dwells 
On this delight ; for, every minute's space, 
The streams with changed magic interlace : 
Sometimes like delicatest lattices, 
G)ver'd with crystal vines ; then weeping trees, 
Moving about as in a gentle wind. 
Which, in a wink, to watery gauze refined, 
Pour*d into shapes of curtain*d canopies. 
Spangled, and rich with liquid broideries 620 

Of flowers, peacocks, swans, and naiads fair. 
Swifter than lightning went these wonders rare ; 
And then the water, into stubborn streams 
Collecting, mimick'd the wrought oaken beams, 
Pillars, and frieze, and high fantastic roof, 
Of those dusk places in times far aloof 



izo ESDYyCCX 




A Ti- -r-.i i«;nie liie Heaven's, £jr bs«?read 

"^"ith sziiiizhz isxns : xv, aH so h:i^ jeJ 

Tbe i'liiiry 5^ a h;irrl«;d dtsiig« 

Vv'Ddcir-z i»-r:h:n him into soaaethr:^ ii eirv - — 

Vei'i like a morning casie, lost, snd wecy. 

And pcrrlind amid fo-ggy, midnight wouis. 

B'Jt he revives at ooce : for who b^ihoids 

New sciden things, cor casts his mental dos^ ? 

Forth from a ruzged arch, in the dusk below, 6 

Came mother Cybeie I alone — alooe — 

In sombre chariot : dark folding thrown 

About her majesty, and £rom death-pale. 

With mrrets crown'd. Poor maned lions hale 

The sluggish wheels ; solemn their toothed maws. 

Their surly eyes brow-hidden, heavy paws 

Uplifted drou-sily, and nervy tails 

Cowering their tawny brushes. Silent saik 

This shadowy queen athwart, and faints away 

In another gloomy arch. 63 

Wherefore delay. 
Young traveller, in such a mournful place ? 
Art thou wayworn, or canst not further trace 
The diamond path ? And does it indeed end 
Abrupt in middle air ? Yet earthward bend 
Thy forehead, and to Jupiter cloud-borne 
Call ardently I He was indeed wajrwom ; 
Abrupt, in middle air, his way was lost ; 
To cloud-borne Jove he bowed, and there crost 
Towards him a large eagle 'twixt whose wings, 66 

Without one impious word, himself he flings, 
Committed to the darkness and the gloom : 
Down, down, uncertain to what pleasant doom, 



BOOK II in 

Swift as a fathoming plummet down he fell 

Through unknown things ; till exhaled asphodel, 

And rose, with spicy fannings interbreathed, 

Came swelling forth where little caves were wreathed 

So thick with leaves and mosses, that they seem*d 

Large honey-combs of green, and freshly teem*d 

With airs delicious. In the greenest nook 670 

The eagle landed him, and farewell took. 

It was a jasmine bower, all bestrown 
With golden moss. His every sense had grown 
Ethereal for pleasure ; 'bove his head 
Flew a delight half-graspable ; his tread 
Was Hesperean ; to his capable ears 
Silence was music from the holy spheres ; 
A dewy luxury was in his eyes ; 
The little flowers felt his pleasant sighs 
And stirr'd them faintly. Verdant cave and cell 680 

He wandered through, oft wondering at such swell 
Of sudden exaltation : but, ** Alas 1 *' 
Said he, *' will all this gush of feeling pass 
Away in solitude ? And must they wane, 
Like melodies upon a sandy plain, 
Without an echo ? Then shall I be left 
So sad, so melancholy, so bereft I 
Yet still I feel immortal 1 O my love. 
My breath of life, where art thou ? High above, 
Dancing before the morning gates of heaven ? 690 

Or keeping watch among those starry seven, 
Old Atlas' children ? Art a maid of the waters. 
One of shell-winding Triton's bright-hair'd daughters ? 
Or art, impossible 1 a nymph of Dian's, 
Weaving a coronal of tender scions 
For very idleness ? Where'er thou art, 
Methinks it now is at my will to start 
Into thine arms ; to scare Aurora's train. 
And snatch thee from the morning ; o*er the main 
To scud like a wild bird, and take thee off 700 



112 ENDYMION 

From thy sea-foamy cradle ; or to doff 
Thy shepherd vest, and woo thee 'mid fresh leav^-* 
No, no, too eagerly my soul deceives 
Its powerless self : I know this cannot be. 
O let me then by some sweet dreaming flee 
To her entrancements : hither sleep awhile I 
Hither, most gentle sleep I and soothing foil 
For some few hours the coming solitude." 

Thus spake he, and that moment felt endued 
With power to dream deliciously ; so wound ^'o 

Through a dim passage, searching till he found 
The smoothest mossy bed and deepest, where 
He threw himself, and just into the air 
Stretching his indolent arms, he took, O bliss 1 
A naked waist : ** Fair Cupid, whence is this ? " 
A well-known voice sigh*d, ** Sweetest, here am I f 
At which soft ravishment, with doting cry 
They trembled to each other. — Helicon I 
O fountains hill I Old Homer's HeUcon ! 
That thou wouldst spout a little streamlet o'er ^^° 

These sorry pages ; then the verse would soar 
And sing above this gentle pair, like lark 
Over his nested young : but all is dark 
Around thine aged top, and thy dear fount 
Exhales in mists to heaven. Ay, the count 
Of mighty Poets is made up ; the scroll 
Is folded by the Muses ; the bright roll 
Is in Apollo's hand : our dazed eyes 
Have seen a new tinge in the western skies : 
The world has done its duty. Yet, oh yet, 7 ^^ 

Although the sun of poesy is set. 
These lovers did embrace, and we must weep 
That there is no old power left to steep 
A quill immortal in their joyous tears. 
Long time in silence did their anxious fears 
Question that thus it was ; long time they lay 
Fondling and kissing every doubt away ; 



\ 



BOOKU 113 

Xxmg time «re soft caressing sobs began 
To mellow into words, and then there ran 

"Two bubbling springs of talk from their sweet lips. 740 

^' O known Unknown I from whom my being sips 

Sach darling essence, wherefore may I not 

Se ever in these arms ? in this sweet spot 

l^illow my chin for ever ? ever press 

These toying hands and kiss their smooth excess ? 

Why not for ever and for ever feel 

That breath about my eyes ? Ah, thou wilt steal 

Away from me again, indeed, indeed — 

Thou wilt be gone away, and wilt not heed 

My lonely madness. Speak, my kindest fair I 750 

Is--is it to be so ? No 1 who will dare 

To pluck thee from me ? And, of thine own wiU, 

Full well I feel thou wouldst not leave me. Still 

Let me entwine thee surer, surer — now 

How can we part ? Elysium I who art thou ? 

Who, that thou canst not be for ever here. 

Or lift me with thee to some starry sphere ? 

Enchantress 1 tell me by this soft embrace, 

By the most soft completion of thy face. 

Those lips, O slippery blisses, twinkling eyes, 760 

And by these tenderest, milky sovereignties — 

These tenderest, and by the nectar-wine. 

The passion " ** O loved Ida the divine I 

Endymion 1 dearest 1 Ah, unhappy me 1 
His soul will *scape us — O felicity 1 
How he does love me 1 His poor temples beat 
To the very mne of love — how sweet, sweet, sweet. 
Revive, dear youth, or I shall faint and die ; 
Revive, or these soft hours will hurry by 
In tranced dulness ; speak^ and let that spell 770 

Affiright this lethargy 1 I caxmot quell 
Its heavy pressure, and will press at least 
My lips to thine, that they may richly feast 
Until we taste the life of love again. 
What 1 dost thou move ? dost kiss ? O bliss 1 O pain I 

I 



i:^ 



ESDTmoy 

I jQve -fTrr ymnfr . moK tixai I cas aMaiei^ e ; 

Kt siui at 2HV rest i ¥er mns I 

Y2:. cm. I 3Ct 3 sarrr .-nnniffUT 

Uailir ireg : aar ir ^err fiLnxK cm own 7^ 

Myseit :o rfriT. Ah^ it^arest^ io znc groozi. 

Or dioo. wilt luroc ms Lluib. dxis seorecTv 

And L imzst I'msii in hexveix. O that I 

H-KJ icne x lireairj; that dae dreafei sm^es 

At my Lost brignoess^ my imtasBbon'i wiles^ 

Hjbd waz2ed ltjul OCym^maf ^^^mn h^gttr 

And 5nxiK aH sencnzs Gods ; that oar ^^^5^ 

Wis qnirr £ur^ ut j tfn , szve at as alooe ! 

And wtiere£bre so ytfrarro^i ? Tis bot to arooe -QO t i^ 

For rniil«*« pleasure, by same coward Hixsfaes : I ^ 

Yet most I be a coward I — Horror rushes 




Too polpabie bc^sre oe — the sad look 

Ol Jove — ^Moem's start — 00 bosom shook I ^ 

^'ith awe ot puilry — 00 Cupid pimoo I ] 

In leveieao e rdTd — my crystalline doonnioa 

Half lost, and all old hymns made nullity I 

But what is this to krve ? O I could fly 

Ulth thee into the ken of heavenly powcxSy 

So thoa woaldst thus, for many sequent hoon. 

Press me so sweetly. Now I swear at once 

That I am wise, that Pallas is a danoe — 

Perhaps her lo^ like mine b but onknown — 

I do think that I have been alone 
In chastity : yes, Pallas has been sighing. 
While every eve saw me my hair npcying 
With fingers cool as aspen leaves. Sweet love, 

1 was as vague as solitary dove. 
Nor knew that nests were built. Now a soft kiss — 
Ay, by that kiss, I vow an endless bliss. 
An immortality of passion's thine : 8^ 
Ere long I will exalt thee to the shine 
Of heaven ambrosial ; and we will shade 
Ourselves whole summers by a river glade ; 



BOOK II IIS 

-And I vill tell thee stories of the sky, 

And breathe thee whispers of its minstrelsy. 

My happy love will overwing all bounds 1 

O let me melt into thee ; let the sounds 

Of our close voices marry at their birth ; 

Let us entwine hoveringly — O dearth 

Of human words 1 rouglmess of mortal speech 1 820 

Lispings empyrean will I sometime teach 

Thine hone/d tongue — lute-breathings, which I gasp 

To have thee understand, now while I clasp 

Thee thus, and weep for fondness — I am pain*d, 

Endymion : woe 1 woe 1 is grief contain*d 

In the very deeps of pleasure, my sole life ? "— 

Hereat, with many sobs, her gentle strife 

Melted into a languor. He remm'd 

Entranced vows and tean. 

Ye who have yeam'd 830 

With too much passion, will here stay and pity, 
For the mere sake of truth ; as 'tis a ditty 
Not of these days, but long ago 'twas told 
By a cavern wind unto a forest old ; 
And then the forest told it in a dream 
To a sleeping lake, whose cool and level gleam 
A poet caught as he was joume3ring 
To Phoebus' shrine ; and in it he did fling 
His weary limbs, bathing an hour's space, 
And after, straight in that inspired place 840 

He sang the story up into the air. 
Giving it universal freedom. There 
Has it been ever sounding for those ears 
Whose tips are glowing hot. The legend cheers 
Yon sentinel stars ; and he who listens to it 
Must surely be self-doom'd or he will rue it : 
For quenchless burnings come upon the heart, 
Made fiercer by a fear lest any part 
Should be engulphed in the eddying wind. 
As much as here is penn'd doth always find 850 

I 2 



86o 



lib ENDYMION 

A resting place, thus much comes clear and plai^^ 
Anon the strange voice is upon the wane — 
And 'tis but echo'd from departing sound, 
That the fair visitant at last unwound 
Her gentle limbs, and left the youth asleep. — 
Thus the tradition of the gusty deep. 

Now turn we to our former chroniclers. — 
£nd3rmion awoke, that grief of hers 
Sweet paining on his ear : he sickly guess*d 
How lone he was once more, and sadly press'd 
His empty arms together, hung his head. 
And most forlorn upon that widow'd bed 
Sat silently. Love's madness he had known : 
Often with more than tortured lion's groan 
Moanings had burst froip him ; but now that rage 
Had pass'd away : no longer did he wage 
A rough-voiced war against the dooming stars. 
No, he had felt too much for such harsh jars : 
The lyre of his soul Eolian tuned 
Forgot all violence, and but communed ^7^ 

With melancholy thought : O he had swoon*d 
Drunken from pleasure's nipple ; and his love 
Henceforth was dove-like. — Loth was he to move 
From the imprinted couch, and when he did, 
'Twas with slow, languid paces, and face hid 
In muffling hands. So temper'd, out he stray'd 
Half seeing visions that might have dismay'd 
Alecto's serpents ; ravishments more keen 
Than Hermes' pipe, when anxious he did lean 
Over eclipsing eyes : and at the last ^ 

It was a sounding grotto, vaulted, vast. 
O'er studded with a thousand, thousand pearls, 
And crimson mouthed shells with stubborn curls. 
Of every shape and size, even to the bulk 
In which whales harbour close, to brood and sulk 
Against an endless storm. Moreover too, 
Fbh-semblanceSy of green and azure hue, 



BOOK 11 117 

Ready to snort their streams. In this cool wonder 

Endymion sat down, and *gan to ponder 

On all his life : his youth, up to the day 890 

When 'mid acclaim, and feasts, and garlands gay, 

He stept upon his shepherd throne : the look 

Of his white palace in wild forest nook, 

And all the revels he had lorded there : 

Each tender maiden whom he once thought £air, 

With every friend and fellow-woodlander — 

Pass'd like a dream before him. Then the spur 

Of the old bards to mighty deeds : his plans 

To nurse the golden age 'mong shepherd dans : 

That wondrous night : the great Pan-festival : 900 

His sister's sorrow ; and his wanderings all, 

Until into the earth's deep maw he rush'd : 

Then all its buried magic, till it flush'd 

High with excessive love. " And now," thought he, 

" How long must I remain in jeopardy 

Of blank amazements that amaze no more? 

Now I have tasted her sweet soul to the core. 

All other depths are shallow : essences, 

Once spiritual, are like muddy lees. 

Meant but to fertilize my earthly root, 910 

And make my branches lift a golden fruit 

Into the bloom of heaven : other light. 

Though it be quick and sharp enough to blight 

The Olympian eagle's vision, is dark. 

Dark as the parentage of chaos. Hark 1 

My silent thoughts are echoing from these shells ; 

Or they are but the ghosts, the dying swells 

Of noises far away ? — list ! " — Hereupon 

He kept an anxious ear. The hunmiing tone 

Came louder, and behold, there as he lay, 920 

On either side outgush'd, with misty spray, 

A copious spring ; and both together dash'd 

Swift, mad, fantastic round the rocks, and lash'd 

Among the conchs and shells of the lofty grot. 

Leaving a trickling dew. At last they ^ot 



ii8 ENDYMION 

Down from the odling's height, pouring a noise 

As of some breathless racers ^diose hopes poise 

Upon the last few steps, and with spent force 

Along the groond they took a winding coarse. 

Endymion foUow'd — ibr it seem'd diat one 9^^ 

Ever pursued, the other strove to shon — 

FoOow'd their languid mazes, till well nigh 

He had left thinking of the my s t er y , — 

And was now rapt in tender hoverings 

Over the vanish'd bliss. Ah I what is it sings 

His dream aviray ? What melodies are these ? 

They soond as through the whispering of trees, 

Not native in such barren vaults. Give ear I 

*' O Arethusa, peerless nymph I why fear 
Such tenderness as mine ? Great Dian, why, 94^ 

Why didst thou hear her prayer? O that I 
Were rippling round her dainty fairness now, 
Circling about her waist, and striving how 
To entice her to a dive 1 then stealing in 
Between her luscious lips and eyelids thin. 
O that her shining hair was in the sun, 
And I distilling from it thence to run 
In amorous rillets down her shrinking form ! 
To linger on her lily shoulders, warm 
Between her kissing breasts, and every charm 9^^ 

Touch raptured ! — See how painfriUy I flow : 
Fair maid, be pitifrd to my great woe. 
Stay, stay thy weary course, and let me lead, 
A happy wooer, to the flowery mead 
Where all that beauty snared me."—" Cruel god, 
Desist 1 or my oflended mistress' nod 
Will stagnate all thy founuins : — tease me not 
With siren words — Ah, have I really got 
Such power to madden thee ? And is it true- 
Away, away, or I shall dearly rue 9^ 
My very thoughts : in mercy then away. 
Kindest Alpheus, for should I obey 



BOOK II 119 

My own dear will, 'twould be a deadly bane."— 

*' O, Oread-Qpeen 1 would that thou hadst a pain 

Like this of mine, then would I fearless turn 

And be a criminal." — " Alas, I bum, 

I shudder — gentle river, get thee hence. 

Alpheus 1 thou enchanter 1 every sense 

Of mine was once made perfect in these woods. 

Fresh breezes, bowery lawns, and innocent floods, 970 

Ripe fruits, and lonely couch, contentment gave ; 

But ever since I heedlessly did lave 

In thy deceitful stream, a panting gloW 

Grew strong within me : wherefore serve me so. 

And call it love ? Alas, 'twas cruelty. 

Not once more did I close my happy eyes 

Amid the thrush's song. Away 1 Avaunt 1 

'twas a cruel thing." — "Now thou dost taunt 
So softly, Arethusa, that I think 

If thou wast playing on'my shady brink, 980 

Thou wouldst bathe once again. Innocent maid ! 

Stifle thine heart no more ; — nor be afraid 

Of angry powers : there are deities 

Wm shade us with their wings. Those fltful sighs 

lis almost death to hear : O let me pour 

A dewy balm upon them ! — fear no more. 

Sweet Arethusa ! Dian's self must feel 

Sometimes these very pangs. Dear maiden, steal 

Blushing into my soul, and let us fly 

These dreary caverns for the open sky. 990 

1 will delight thee all my winding course. 
From the green sea up to my hidden source 
About Arcadian forests ; and will show 
The channels where my coolest waters flow 
Through mossy rocks ; where, 'mid exuberant green, 
I roam in pleasant darkness, more unseen 

Than Saturn in his exile ; where I brim 

Round flowery islands, and take thence a skim 

Of mealy sweets, which myriads of bees [1000 

Buzz from their honey'd wings : and thou shouldst please 



120 ENDYMION 

Thyself to choose the richest, where we might 

Be incensc-pillow'd every summer night. 

Doff all sad fears, thou white delidousness, 

And let us be thus comforted ; unless 

Thou couldst rejoice to see my hopeless stream 

Hurry distracted from SoFs temperate beam. 

And pour to death along some hungry sands." — 

*' What can I do, Alpheus ? Dian stands 

Severe before me : persecuting fate 1 

Unhappy Arethusa I thou wast late •> 

A huntress free in " — At this, sudden fell 

Those two sad streams adown a fearful dell. 

The Latmian listen'd, but he heard no more, 

Save echo, faint repeating o*er and o'er 

The name of Arethusa. On the verge 

Of that dark gulf he wept, and said : *' I urge 

Thee, gentle Goddess of my pilgrimage. 

By our eternal hopes, to soothe, to assuage. 

If thou art powerful, these lovers' pains ; 

And make them happy in some happy plains." I ^ 

He tum'd — there was a whelming sound — he stept. 
There was a cooler light ; and so he kept 
Towards it by a sandy path, and lo 1 
More suddenly than doth a moment go. 
The visions of the earth were gone and fled— 
He saw the giant sea above his head. 



BOOK III 

THERE are who lord it o'er their fellow-men 
With most prevailing tinsel : who unpen 
Their baaing, vanities, to browse away 
The comfortable green and juicy hay 
From human pastures ; or, O torturing fact 1 
Who, through an idiot blink, will see unpacked 
Fire-branded foxes to sear up and singe 
Our gold and ripe-ear'd hopes. With not one tinge 
Of sanctuary splendour, not a sight 
Able to face an owl's, they still are dight lo 

By the blear-eyed nations in empurpled vests, 
And crowns, and turbans. With unladen breasts, 
Save of blown self-applause, they proudly mount 
To their spirit's perch, their being's high account, 
Their tiptop nothings, their dull skies, their thrones — 
Amid the fierce intoxicating tones 
Of trumpets, shoutings, and belabour'd drums, 
And sudden cannon. Ah 1 how all this hums. 
In wakeful ears, like uproar past and gone — 
Like thunder clouds that spake to Babylon, 20 

And set those old Chaldeans to their tasks. — 
Are then regalities all gilded masks ? 
No, there are throned seats unscalable 
But by a patient wing, a constant spell, 
Or by ethereal things that, unconfined, 
Can make a ladder of the eternal wind. 



122 ENDYMION 

And poise about in cloudy thunder-tents 

To watch the abysm-birth of elements. 

Ay, 'bove the withering of old-lipp'd Fate 

A thousand Powers keep religious state, 

In water, fiery realm, and airy bourne ; 

And, silent as a consecrated urn. 

Hold sphery sessions for a season due. 

Yet few of these hi majesties, ah, few 1 

Have bared their operations to this globe — 

Few, who with gorgeous pageantry enrobe 

Our piece of heaven — whose benevolence 

Shakes hand with our own Ceres ; every sense 

Filling with spiritual sweets to plenitude. 

As bees gorge full their cells. And, by the feud 

Twixt Nothing and Creation, I here swear, 

Eteme Apollo 1 that thy Sister fair 

Is of all these the gentlier-mightiest. 

When thy gold breath is misting in the west. 

She unobserved steals unto her throne. 

And there she sits most meek and most alone ; 

As if she had not pomp subservient ; 

As if thine eye, high Poet ! was not bent 

Towards her with the Muses in thine heart ; 

As if the minist'ring stars kept not apart, 

Waiting for silver-footed messages. 

O Moon I the oldest shades 'mong oldest trees 

Feel palpitations when thou lookest in : 

O Moon ! old boughs lisp forth a holier din 

The while they feel thine airy fellowship. 

Thou dost bless every where, with silver lip 

Kissing dead things to life. The sleeping kine, 

Couch'd in thy brighmess, dream of fields divine 

Inniunerable mountains rise, and rise. 

Ambitious for the hallowing of thine eyes ; 

And yet thy benediction passeth not 

One obscure hiding-place, one little spot 

Where pleasure may be sent : the nested wren 

Has thy fair face within its tranquil ken, 



BOOK in 123 

-And from beneath a sheltering ivy leaf 

*Takes glimpses of thee ; thou art a relief 

*ro the poor patient oyster, where it sleeps 

"Within its pearly house. — The mighty deeps, 

The monstrous sea is thine — the myriad sea 1 

O Moon 1 far-spooming Ocean bows to thee, 70 

And Tellus feels his forehead's cumbrous load. 

Cynthia 1 where art thou now ? What far abode 
Of green or silvery bower doth enshrine 
Such utmost beauty ? Alas, thou dost pine 
For one as sorrowful : thy cheek is pale 
For one ^ose cheek is pale : thou dost bewail 
His tears, who weeps for thee. Where dost thou 

sigh? 
Ah I surely that light peeps from Vesper's eye, 
Or what a thing is love 1 Tis She, but lo I 
How changed, how full of ache, how gone in woe 1 80 
She dies at the thinnest cloud ; her loveliness 
Is wan on Neptune's blue : yet there's a stress 
Of love-spangles, just off yon cape of trees, 
Dancing upon the waves, as if to please 
The curly foam with amorous influence. 
O, not so idle : for down-glancing thence 
She fathoms eddies, and runs wild about 
O'erwhelming water-courses ; scaring out 
The thorny sharks from hiding-holes, and fright'ning 
Their savage eyes with unaccustom'd lighming. 90 

Where will the splendour be content to reach ? 
O love 1 how potent hast thou been to teach 
Strange joumeyings 1 Wherever beauty dweUs, 
In gulf or aerie, mountains or deep dells, 
In light, in gloom, in star or blazing sun. 
Thou pointest out the way, and straight 'tis won. 
Amid his toil thou gavest Leander breath ; 
Thou leddest Orpheus through the gleams of death ; 
Thou madest Pluto bear thin element : 
And now, O winged Chieftain 1 thou hast sent 100 



124 ENDYMION 

A moon-beam to the deep, deep water-world, 
To find £nd3rmion. 

On gold sand tmpeari'd 
With lily shells, and pebbles milky white. 
Poor Cynthia greeted him, and soothed her light 
Against his pallid face : he felt the charm 
To breathlessness, and suddenly a warm 
Of his heart's blood : 'twas very sweet ; he stay'cf 
His wandering steps, and half-entranced laid 
His head upon a tuft of straggling weeds. 
To taste the gentle moon, and freshening beads, 
Lash'd from the oystal roof by fishes' tails. 
And so he kept, until die rosy veils 
Mantling the east, by Aurora's peering hand 
Were lifted from the water's breast, and fann'd 
Into sweet air ; and sober'd morning came 
Meekly through billows : — when like taper-flame 
Left sudden by a dallying breath of air. 
He rose in silence, and once more 'gan hit 
Along his fated way. 

Far had he roam*d, 
With nothing save the hollow vast, that foam'd 
Above, around, and at his feet ; save things 
More dead than Morpheus' imaginings : 
Old rusted anchors, helmets, breast-plates large 
Of gone sea-warriors ; brazen beaks and targe; 
Rudders that for a hundred years had lost 
The sway of human hand ; gold vase emboss'd 
With long-forgotten story, and wherein 
No reveller had ever dipp'd a chin 
But those of Saturn's vintage; mouldering scrdls, 
Writ in the tongue of heaven, by those souls 
Who first were on the earth ; and sculptures rode 
In ponderous stone, developing the mood 
Of ancient Nox ; — then skeletons of man, 
Of beast, behemoth, and leviathan, 



BOOK lU 125 

-And dephant, and eagle, and huge jaw 

CDf nameless monster. A cold leaden awe 

*These secrets struck into him ; and unless 

l>ian had chased away that heaviness, 140 

He might have died : but now, with cheered fed. 
He onward kept ; wooing these thoughts to steal 
About the labyrinth in his soul of love. 

*' What is there in thee, Moonl that thou shouldst move 
My heart so potently ? When yet a child 
I oft have dried my tears when thou hast smiled. 
Thou seem'dst my sister : hand in hand we went 
From eve to mom across the firmament. 
No apples would I gather from the tree. 
Till thou hadst cool'd thdr cheeks delidously : 1 50 

No ttunbling water ever spake romance. 
But when my eyes with ^ine thereon could dance : 
No woods were green enough, no bower divine, 
Until thou liftedst up thine eyelids fine : 
In sowing time ne'er would I dibble take. 
Or drop a seed, till thou wast wide awake ; 
And, in the summer tide of blossoming, 
No one but thee hath heard me blithely sing 
And mesh my dewy flowers all the night. 
No mdody was like a passing spright 160 

If it went not to solemnize thy reign. 
Yes, in my boyhood, every joy and pain 
By thee were fashion'd to the self-same end ; 
And as I grew in years, still didst thou blend 
With all my ardours : thou wast the deep glen ; 
Thou wast the mountain-top — the sage's pen — 
The poet's harp— the voice of friends — the sun ; 
Thou wast the river — thou wast glory won ; 
Thou wast my clarion's blast — thou wast my steed — 
My goblet full of wine — my topmost deed : — 170 

Thou wast the charm of women, lovdy Moon I 
O what a wild and harmonized tune 
My spirit struck from all the beautiful 1 



126 ENDYMION 

On some bright essence could I lean, and lull 
Myself to immortality : I prest 
Nature's soft pillow in a wakeful rest. 
But, gentle CHrb 1 there came a nearer bliss — 
My strange love came — Felicity's abyss I 

She came, and thou didst fade, and fiade away 

Yet not entirely ; no, thy starry sway ^^ 

Has been an under-passion to this hour. 

Now I begin to feel thine orby power 

Is coming fresh upon me : O be kind. 

Keep back thine influence, and do not blind 

My sovereign vision. — Dearest love, forgive 

That I can think away from thee and live 1 — 

Pardon me, airy planet, that I prize 

One thought beyond thine argent luxuries 1 

How far beyond 1 " At this a surprised start 

Frosted the springing verdure of his heart ; ^ 

For as he lifted up his eyes to swear 

How his own goddess was past all things £ur, 

He saw far in the concave green of the sea 

An old man sitting calm and peacefully. 

Upon a weeded rock this old man sat, 

And his white hair was awful, and a mat 

Of weeds were cold beneath his cold thin feet ; 

And, ample as the largest winding-sheet, 

A cloak of blue wrapp'd up his aged bones, 

O'erwrought with symbols by the deepest groans 

Of ambitious magic : every ocean-form 

Was woven in with black distinctness ; storm. 

And calm, and whispering, and hideous roar 

Were emblem'd in the woof; with every shape 

That skims, or dives, or sleeps, 'twixt cape azid cape. 

The gulphing whale was like a dot in the spell. 

Yet look upon it, and 'twould size and swell 

To its huge self; and the minutest fish 

Would pass the very hardest gazer's wish, 

And show his little eye's anatomy. iic^ 

Then there was pictured the regality 



BOOK HI 127 

Of Neptune ; and the sea nymphs round his state, 

In beauteous vassalage, look up and wait. 

Beside this old man lay a pearly wand, 

And in his lap a book, the which he conn'd 

So steadfastly, that the new denizen 

Had time to keep him in amazed ken. 

To mark these shadowings, and stand in awe. 

The old man raised his hoary head and saw 
The wilder'd stranger — seeming not to see, 220 

His features were so lifeless. Suddenly 
He woke as from a trance ; his snow-white brows 
Went arching up, and like two magic ploughs 
Furrow'd deep wrinkles in his forehead large, 
Which kept as fixedly as rocky marge. 
Till round his wither'd lips had gone a smile. 
Then up he rose, like one whose tedious toil 
Had watch'd for years in forlorn hermitage, 
Who had not from mid-life to utmost age 
Eased in one accent his o'er-burdenM soul, 230 

Even to the trees. He rose : he grasp'd his stole, 
With convulsed clenches waving it abroad. 
And in a voice of solemn joy, that awed 
Echo into oblivion, he said : — 

**' Thou art the man 1 Now shall I lay my head 
In peace upon my watery pillow : now 
Sleep will come smoothly to my weary brow. 
O Jove 1 I shall be young again, be young 1 
O shell-borne Neptune, I am pierced and stung 
With new-bom life ! What shall I do ? Where go, 240 
When I have cast this serpent-skin of woe ? — 
111 swim to the sirens, and one moment listen 
Their melodies, and see their long hair glisten ; 
Anon upon that giant's arm Fll be, 
That writhes about the roots of Sicily : 
To northern seas FU in a twinkling sail. 
And mount upon the snortings of a whale 



128 ENDYMION 

To some black cloud ; thence down 1*11 madly sweep ^ 

On forked lightning to the deepest deep, 

Where through some sucking pool I will be huri'd 

With rapture to the other side of the world 1 

O, I am full of gladness 1 Sisters three, 

I bow full hearted to your old decree I 

Yes, every god be thank'd, and power benign, 

For I no more shall wither, droop, and pine. 

Thou art the man I " Endymion started back 

Disma/d ; and, like a wretch from whom the rack 

Tortures hot breath, and speech of agony, 

Mutter'd : '' What lonely death am I to die 

In this cold region? Will he let me freeze. 

And float my brittle limbs o'er polar seas? 

Or will he touch me with his searing hand. 

And leave a black memorial on the sand ? 

Or tear me piece-meal with a bony saw. 

And keep me as a chosen food to draw 

His magian fish through hated fire and flame? 

O misery of hell I resistless, tame. 

Am I to be burnt up ? No, I will shout, 

Until the gods through heaven's blue look out! — 

Tartarus I but some few days agone 2 
Her soft arms were entwining me, and on 

Her voice I hung like fruit among green leaves : 
Her lips were all my own, and — ah, ripe sheaves 
Of happiness 1 ye on the stubble droop. 
But never may be gamer'd. I must stoop 
My head, and kiss death's foot. Love ! love, fuewell 
Is there no hope from thee ? This horrid spdl 
Would melt at thy sweet breath. — By Dian's hind 
Feeding from her white fingers, on die wind 

1 see thy streaming hair 1 and now, by Pan, 2 
I care not for this old mysterious man I " 

He spake, and walking to that aged form, 
Look'd high defiance. Lo 1 his heart 'gan warm 
With pity, for the grey-hair'd creature virept. 



BOOK HI 129 

Had he then wrong'd a heart where sorrow kept ? 
Had he, though blindly contumelious, brought 
Rheum to kind eyes, a sting to human thought. 
Convulsion to a mouth of many years ? 
He had in truth ; and he was ripe for tears. 
The penitent shower fell, as down he knelt 290 

Before that care-worn sage, who trembling felt 
About his large dark locks, and faltering spake : 

" Arise, good youth, for sacred Phoebus' sake ! 
I know thine inmost bosom, and I feel 
A very brother's yearning for thee steal 
Into mine own : for why? thou openest 
The prison gates that have so long opprest 
My weary watching. Though thou know'st it not, 
Thou art commission'd to this fated spot 
For great enfranchisement. O weep no more ; 300 

I am a friend to love, to loves of yore : 
Ay, hadst thou never loved an unknown power, 
I had been grieving at this joyous hour. 
But even now, most miserable old, 
I saw thee, and my blood no longer cold 
Gave mighty pulses : in this tottering case 
Grew a new heart, which at this moment pla3rs 
As dancingly as thine. Be not afraid, . 
For thou shalt hear this secret all display'd, 
Now as we speed towards our joyous task." 310 

So saying, this young soul in age's mask 
Went forward with the Carian side by side : 
Resuming quickly thus ; while ocean's tide 
Hung swollen at their backs, and jewell'd sands 
Took silently their foot-prints. 

'* My soul stands 
Now past the midway from mortality, 
And so I can prepare without a sigh 
To tell thee briefly all my joy and pain, 

K 



330 



130 ENDYMION 

I was a fisher once, ui>on this main, 5^ 

And my boat danced in every creek and bay ; 

Rough billows were my home by night and day ^ 

Tl)e sea-gulls not more constant ; for I had 

No housing from the storm and tempests mad, 

But hollow rocks, — and they were palaces 

Of silent happiness, of slumberous ease : 

Long years of misery have told me so. 

Ay, thus it was one thousand years ago. 

One thousand years ! — Is it then possible 

To look so plainly through them ? to dispel 

A thousand years with backward glance sublime ? 

To breathe away as 'twere all scunmiy slime 

From off a crystal pool, to see its deep. 

And one's own image from the bottom peep ? 

Yes : now I am no longer wretched thrall, 

My long captivity and moanings all 

Are but a slime, a thin-pervading scum, 

The which I breathe away, and thronging come 

Like things of 3resterday my youthful pleasures. 

** I touch'd no lute, I sang not, trod no measures : ^^ 
I was a lonely youth on desert shores. 
My sj>orts were lonely, 'mid continuous roars, 
And craggy isles, and sea-mew's plaintive cry 
Plaining discrepant between sea and sky. 
Dolphins were still my playmates ; shapes unseen 
Would let me feel their scales of gold and green, 
Nor be my desolation ; and, full oft. 
When a dread waterspout had rear'd aloft 
Its hungry hugeness, seeming ready ripe 
To burst with hoarsest thunderings, and wipe ^ ^ 

My life away like a vast sponge of fate. 
Some friendly monster, pitying my sad state. 
Has dived to its foundations, gulph'd it down, 
And left me tossing safely. But the crown 
Of all my life was utmost quietude : 
More did I love to lie in cavern rude, 



\ 



BOOK in 131 

Keeping in wait whole days for Neptune's voice. 

And if it came at last, hark, and rejoice 1 

There blush'd no summer eve but I would steer 

My skiff along green shelving coasts, to hear 360 

The shepherd's pipe come dear from aery steep, 

Mingled with ceaseless bleatings of his sheep: 

And never was a day of sunmier shine. 

But I beheld its birth upon the brine : 

For I would watch all night to see unfold 

Heaven's gates, and £thon snort his morning gold 

Wide o'er the swelling streams : and constantly 

At brim of day-tide, on some grassy lea, 

My nets would be spread out, and I at rest. 

The poor folk of the sea-country I blest 370 

With daily boon of Bsh most delicate: 

They knew not whence this bounty, and elate 

Would strew sweet flowers on a sterile beach. 

** Why was I not contented ? Wherefore reach 
At things which, but for thee, O Latmian 1 
Had been my dreary death ? Fool ! I began 
To fed distemper'd longings : to desire 
The utmost privilege that ocean's sire 
Could grant in benediction : to be free 
Of all his kingdom. Long in misery 380 

I wasted, ere in one extremest fit 
I plunged for life or death. To interknit 
One's senses with so dense a breathing stufl 
Might seem a work of pain ; so not enough 
Can I admire how crystal-smooth it felt. 
And buoyant round my limbs. At first I dwelt 
Whole days and days in sheer astonishment ; 
Forgetftd utterly of self-intent ; 
Moving but with the mighty ebb and flow. 
Then, like a new fledged bird that first doth show 390 
His spreaded feathers to the morrow chill, 
I tried in fear the pinions of my will. 
Twas freedom 1 and at once I visited 

K 2 



132 ENDYMION 

The ceaseless wonders of this ocean-bed. 
No need to tell thee of them, for I see I C 

That thou hast been a witness — it must be — | I 

For these I know thou canst not feel a drouth, 
By the melancholy comers of that mouth. 
So I will in my story straightway pass 
To more immediate matter. Woe, alas 1 
That love should be my bane 1 Ah, Scylla £url 
Why did poor Glaucus ever — ever dare 
To sue thee to his heart ? Kind stranger-youth! 
I loved her to the very white of truth, 
And she would not conceive it. Timid thing 1 
She fled me swift as sea-bird on the wing. 
Round every isle, and point, and promontory. 
From where large Hercules wound up his story 
Far as Egyptian Nile. My passion grew 
The more, the more I saw her dainty hue 4^^ 

Gleam delicately through the azure clear : 
Until 'twas too fierce agony to bear ; 
And in that agony, across my grief 
It flash'd, that Circe might find some relief- 
Cruel enchantress 1 So above the water 
I rearM my head, and lookM for Phoebus* daughter, 
^aea's isle was wondering at the moon : — 
It seem'd to whirl around me, and a swoon 
Left me dead-drifting to that fatal power. 

** When I awoke, 'twas in a twilight bower ; 4-^^ 

Just when the light of mom, with hum of bees, 
Stole through its verdurous matting of fresh trees. 
How sweet, and sweeter 1 for I heard a lyre, 
And over it a sighing voice expire. 
It ceased — I caught light footsteps ; and anon 
The fairest face that mom e'er look'd upon 
Push'd through a screen of roses. Starry Jove I 
With tears, and smiles, and honey-words she wove 
A net whose thraldom was more bliss than all 
The range of flower'd Elysium. Thus did fall 4^ 5 



BOOK III 135 

The dew of her rich speech : * Ah ! Art awake ? 

let me hear thee speak, for Cupid's sake 1 

1 am so oppress'd with joy ! Why, I have shed 
An urn of tears, as though thou wert cold dead ; 
And now I find thee living, I will pour 

From these devoted eyes their silver store. 

Until exhausted of the latest drop. 

So it will pleasure thee, and force thee stop 

Here, that I too may live : but if beyond 

Such cool and sorrowful offerings, thou art fond 44a 

Of soothing warmth, of dalliance supreme ; 

If thou art ripe to taste a long love dream ; 

If smiles, if dimples, tongues for ardour mute, 

Hang in thy vision like a tempting fruit, 

O let me pluck it for thee ! ' Thus she link'd 

Her charming syllables, till indistinct 

Their music came to my o'er-swecten*d soul ; 

And then she hover'd over me, and stole 

So near, that if no nearer it had been 

This furrowed visage thou hadst never seen. 450 

'* Young man of Latmos 1 thus particular 
Am I, that thou may*st plainly see how far 
This fierce temptation went : and thou may'st not 
Exclaim, How then ? was Scylla quite forgot ? 

•* Who could resist ? Who in this universe ? 
She did so breathe ambrosia ; so immerse 
My fine existence in a golden clime. 
She took me like a child of suckling time, 
And cradled me in roses. Thus condemn'd, 
The current of my former life was stemm'd, 460 

And to this arbitrary queen of sense 
I bow*d a tranced vassal : nor would thence 
Have moved, even though Amphion*s harp had woo*d 
Me back to Scylla o'er the billows rude. 
For as Apollo each eve doth devise 
A new apparelling for western skies ; 



134 ENDYMION 

So every eve, nay, every spendthrift hour 
Shed bahny consciousness within that bower. 
And I was free of haunts umbrageous ; 
Could wander in the mazy forest-house 
Of squirrels, foxes shy, and antler'd deer, 
And birds from coverts innermost and drear 
Warbling for very joy mellifluous sorrow — 
To me new bom delights 1 

" Now let me borrow, 
For moments few, a temperament as stem 
As Pluto's sceptre, that my words not bum 
These uttering lips, while I in calm speech tell 
How specious heaven was changed to real hell. 

** One mom she left me sleeping : half awake 
I sought for her smooth arms and lips, to slake 
My greedy thirst with nectarous camel-draughts ; 
But she was gone. Whereat the barbed shafb 
Of disappointment stuck in me so sore, 
That out I ran and searched the forest o'er. 
Wandering about in pine and cedar gloom 
Damp awe assail'd me ; for there 'gan to boom 
A sound of moan, an agony of sound 
Sepulchral, from the distance all around. 
Then came a conquering earth-thunder, and rumbled . 
That fierce complain to silence : while I stumbled 
Down a precipitous path, as if impell'd. 
I came to a dark valley. — Groanings swell'd 
Poisonous about my ears, and louder grew. 
The nearer I approach'd a flame's gaunt blue. 
That glared before me through a thomy brake. 
This fire, like the eye of gordian snake, 
Bewitch'd me towards ; and I soon was near 
A sight too fearful for the feel of fear : 
In thicket hid I cursed the haggard scene — \ 

The banquet of my arms, my arbour queen, 
Seated upon an uptora forest root ; 



BOOK III 135 

And all around her shapes, wizard and brute, 

Laughing, and wailing, grovelling, serpenting, 

Showing tooth, tusk, and venom-bag, and sting 1 

O such deformities 1 Old Charon's self. 

Should he give up awhile his penny pelf. 

And take a dream 'mong rushes Stygian, 

It could not be so phantasied. Fierce, wan. 

And tyrannizing was the lady's look, 3 10 

As over them a gnarled staff she shook. 

Oft-times ui>on the sudden she laugh'd out. 

And from a basket emptied to the rout 

Ousters of grapes, the which they raven'd quick 

And roar'd for more ; with many a hungry lick 

About their shaggy jaws. Avenging, slow, 

Anon she took a branch of mistletoe, 

And emptied on 't a black dull-gurgling phial : 

Groan'd one and all, as if some piercing trial 

Was sharpening for their pitiable bones. $20 

She lifted up the charm : appealing groans 

From their poor breasts went suing to her ear 

In vain ; remorseless as an infant's bier 

She whisk'd against their eyes the sooty oil. 

Whereat was heard a noise of painful toil, 

Increasing gradual to a tempest rage, 

Shrieks, yells, and groans of torture-pilgrimage ; 

Until their grieved bodies 'gan to bloat 

And puff from the tail's end to stifled throat : 

Then was appalling silence ; then a sight 5 30 

More wildering than all that hoarse affright ; 

For the whole herd, as by a whirlwind writhen. 

Went through the dismal air like one huge Python 

Antagonizing Boreas, — and so vanish'd. 

Yet there was not a breath of wind : she banish'd 

These phantoms with a nod. Lo 1 from the dark 

Came waggish fauns, and nymphs, and satyrs stark, 

With dancing and loud revelry, — and went 

Swifter than centaurs after rapine bent. — 

Sighing an elephant appear'd and bow'd 5^)0 




136 ENDYMION 

Before the fierce witch, speaking thus aloud 
In human accent : ' Potent goddess I chief 
Of pains resistless ! make my being brief. 
Or let me firom this heavy prison fly : 
Or give me to the air, or let me die I 
I sue not for my happy crown again ; 
I sue not for my phalanx on the plain ; 
I sue not for my lone, my widow'd wife ; 
I sue not for my ruddy drops of life, 
My children fair, my lovely girls and boys 1 
I will forget them ; I will pass these joys ; 

Ask nought so heavenward, so too — too high : 

Only I pray, as fairest boon, to die. 

Or be delivered from this cumbrous flesh, 

From thb gross, detestable, filthy mesh. 

And merely given to the cold bleak air. 

Have mercy, Goddess ! Qrce, feel my prayer I * 

'* That curst magician's name fell icy numb 
Upon my wild conjecturing : truth had come 
Naked and sabre-like against my heart. 
I saw a fury whetting a death-dart ; 
And my slain spirit, overwrought with fnght, 
Fainted away in that dark lair of night. 
Think, my deliverer, how desolate 
My waking mu^ have been 1 disgust, and hate. 
And terrors manifold divided me 
A spoil amongst them. I prepared to flee 
Into the dungeon core of that wild wood : 
I fled three days — when lo I before me stood 
Glaring the angry witch. O Dis, even now, 
A clammy dew is beading on my brow. 
At mere remembering her pale laugh, and curse. 
' Ha 1 ha ! Sir Dainty 1 there must be a nurse 
Made of rose leaves and thistledown, express. 
To cradle thee, ray sweet, and lull thee : yes, 
I am too flinty-hard for thy nice touch : 
My tenderest squeeze is but a giant's clutch. 



BOOK III 137 

So, fairy-thing, it shall have lullabies 

Unheard of yet ; and it shall still its cries 

Upon some breast more lily-feminine. 580 

Oh, no — it shall not pine, and pine, and pine 

More than one pretty, trifling thousand years ; 

And then 'twere pity, but fate's gentle shears 

Cut short its immortality. Sea-flirt 1 

Young dove of the waters 1 truly Til not hurt 

One hair of thine : see how I weep and sigh. 

That our heart-broken parting is so nigh. 

And must we part ? Ah, yes, it must be so. 

Yet ere thou leavest me in utter woe. 

Let me sob over thee my last adieus, 590 

And speak a blessing : Mark me ! Thou hast thews 

Immortal, for thou art of heavenly race : 

But such a love is mine, that here I chase 

Eternally away from thee all bloom 

Of youth, and destine thee towards a tomb. 

Hence shalt thou quickly to the watery vast ; 

And there, ere many days be overpast. 

Disabled age shall seize thee ; and even then 

Thou shalt not go the way of aged men ; 

But live and wither, cripple and still breathe 600 

Ten himdred years : which gone, I then bequeath 

Thy fragile bones to unknown burial. 

Adieu, sweet love, adieu ! ' — As shot stars fall. 

She fled ere I could groan for mercy. Stung 

And poisoned was my spirit : despair sung 

A war-song of defiance 'gainst all hell. 

A hand was at my shoulder to compel 

My sullen steps ; another 'fore my eyes 

Moved on with pointed flnger. In this guise 

Enforced, at the last by ocean's foam 610 

I found me ; by my fresh, my native home. 

Its tempering coolness, to my life akin, 

Gune salutary as I waded in ; 

And, witli a blind voluptuous rage, I gave 

Battle to the swollen billow-ridge, and drave 



ij8 ENDYMION 

Large froth before me, while there yet remain'd 
Hale strength, nor from my bones all marrow drain*d. 

" Young lover, I must weep — such hellish ^te 
With dry cheek who can tell ? While thus my might 
Proving upon this element, dismayed, 620 

Upon a dead thing's face my hand I laid ; 
I look*d — 'twas Scylla ! Cursed, cursed Circe ! 

vulture-witch, hast never heard of mercy ? 
Could not thy harshest vengeance be content. 
But thou must nip this tender innocent 
Because I loved her ? — Cold, O cold indeed 
Were her fair limbs, and like a common weed 
The sea-swell took her hair. Dead as she was 

1 clung about her waist, nor ceased to pass 

Fleet as an arrow through unfathom'd brine, 630 

Until there shone a fabric crystalline, 

Ribb'd and inlaid with coral, pebble, and pearl. 

Headlong I darted ; at one eager swirl 

Gain'd its bright portal, enter'd, and behold 1 

Twas vast, and desolate, and icy-cold ; 

And all around — But wherefore this to thee 

Who in few minutes more thyself shalt see ? — 

I left poor Scylla in a niche and fled. 

My fever'd parchings up, my scathing dread 

Met palsy half way : soon these limbs became 640 

Gaunt, wither'd, sapless, feeble, cramp'd, and lame. 

*' Now let me pass a cruel, cruel space, 
Without one hope, without one faintest trace 
Of mitigation, or redeeming bubble 
Of colour'd phantasy ; for I fear 'twould trouble 
Thy brain to loss of reason : and next tell 
How a restoring chance came down to quell 
One half of the witch in me. 

"On a day, 
Sitting upon a rock above the spray, 650 

I saw grow up from the horizon's brink 




li^^ 




BOOK ni 139 

A gallant vessel : soon she seemM to sink 

Away from me again, as though her course 

Had been resumed in spite of hindering force — 

So vanish'd : and not long, before arose 

Dark clouds, and muttering of winds morose. 

Old Eolus would stifle his mad spleen. 

But could not : therefore all the billows green 

TossM up the silver spume against the clouds. 

The tempest came : I saw that vessel's shrouds 660 

In perilous bustle ; while upon the deck 

Stood trembling creamres. I beheld the wreck ; 

The final gulphing ; the poor struggling soub : 

I heard their cries amid loud thunder-roUs. 

they had all been saved but crazed eld 
Annull'd my vigorous cravings : and thus quell'd 
And curb'd, think on't, O Latmian 1 did I sit 
Writhing with pity, and a cursing fit 

Against that hell-bom Circe. The crew had gone, 

By one and one, to pale oblivion ; 670 

And I was gazing on the surges prone, 

With many a scalding tear and many a groan, 

When at my feet emerged an old man's hand. 

Grasping this scroll, and this same slender wand. 

1 knelt with pain — reach'd out my hand — had grasp'd 
These treasures — touch'd the knuckles — they undasp'd — 
I caught a finger : but the downward weight 
O'erpower'd me — it sank. Then 'gan abate 

The storm, and through chill aguish gloom outburst 

The comfortable sun. I was athirst 680 

To search the book, and in the warming air 

Parted its dripping leaves with eager care. 

Strange matters did it treat of, and drew on 

My soul page after page, till well-nigh won 

Into forgetfulness ; when, smpefied, 

I read these words, and read again, and tried 

My eyes against the heavens, and read again. 

O what a load of misery and pain 

Each Atlas-line bore off! — a shine of hope 



140 ENDYMION 

Gune gold around me, cheering me to cope ^ 

Strenuous with hellish tyranny. Attend 1 
For thou hast brought their promise to an end. 

" In the wide sea there lives a forlorn wretch, 
Doom'd with enfeebled carcase to outstretch 
His loathed existence through ten centuries. 
And then to die alone. Who can devise 
A total opposition ? No one. So 
One million times ocean must ebb and flow. 
And he oppressed. Yet he shall not die. 
These things accomplished :—If he utterly 1^ 

Scans all the d^ths of magic, and expounds 
The meanings of all motions, shapes, and sounds ; 
If he explores all forms and substances 
Straight homeward to their symbol-essences ; 
He shall not die. Moreover, and in chief. 
He must pursue this task of joy and grief 
Most piously ; — aJl lovers tempest-tost. 
And in the savage overwhelming lost. 
He shall deposit side by side, until 
Timers creeping shall the dreary space fulfil : ' 

Which done, and all these labours ripened, 
A youth, by heavenly power loved and led, 
Shall stand before him ; whom he shall direct 
How to consummate all. The youth elect 
Must do the thing, or both will be destro/d." — 

** Then," cried the young Endymion, overjoy'd, 
** We are twin brothers in this destiny I 
Say, I entreat thee, what achievement high 
Is, in this restless world, for me reserved. 
What I if from thee my wandering feet had swerved, /'^ 
Had we both perish'd?" — "Look! " the sage replied, 
** Dost thou not mark a gleaming through the tide. 
Of divers brilliances ? *tis the edifice 
I told thee of, where lovely Scylla lies ; 
And where I have enshrined piously 



\ 



BOOK III 141 

All lovers, whom fell storms have doom'd to die 

Throughout my bondage." Thus discoursing, on 

They went till unobscured the porches shone ; 

Which hurryingly they gain'd, and entefd straight. 

Sure never since king Neptune held his state 730 

Was seen such wonder imdemeath the stars. 

Turn to some level plain where haughty Mars 

Has legion'd all his battle ; and behold 

How every soldier, with firm foot, doth hold 

His even breast : see, many steeled squares, 

And rigid ranks of iron — whence who dares 

One step ? Imagine further, line by line. 

These warrior thousands on the field supine : — 

So in that crystal place, in silent rows, 

Poor lovers lay at rest firom joys and woes. — 740 

The stranger fi-om the mountains, breathless, traced 

Such thousands of shut eyes in order placed ; 

Such ranges of white feet, and patient lips 

All ruddy, — for here death no blossom nips. 

He mark'd their brows and foreheads ; saw their hair 

Put sleekly on one side with nicest care ; 

And each one's gentle wrists, with reverence, 

Put cross-wise to its heart. 

** Let us commence," 
Whisper'd the guide, stuttering with joy, "even now." 750 
He spake, and, trembling like an aspen-bough. 
Began to tear his scroll in pieces small. 
Uttering the while some mumblings funeral. 
He tore it into pieces small as snow 
That drifts unfeather*d when bleak northerns blow ; 
And having done it, took his dark blue doak 
And bound it round Endymion : then struck 
His wand against the empty air times nine. — 
" What more there is to do, young man, is thine : 
But first a little patience ; first undo 760 

This tangled thread, and wind it to a clue. 
Ah, gentle 1 'tis as weak as spider's skein ; ; 



142 ENDYMION 

And shouldst thou break it— What, is it done so d^^ 
A j>ower overshadows thee ! Oh, brave ! 
The spite of hell is tumbling to its grave. 
Here is a shell ; 'tis pearly blank to me. 
Nor mark*d with any sign or charactery — 
Canst thou read aught ? O read for pity's sake! 
Olympus ! we are safe ! Now, Carian, break 
This wand against yon lyre on the pedestal." 

Twas done : and straight with sudden swell and ^ 
Sweet music breathed her soul away, and sigh'd 
A lullaby to silence. — ** Youth ! now strew 
These minced leaves on me, and passing through 
Those files of dead, scatter the same around. 
And thou wilt see the issue." — 'Mid the sound 
Of flutes and viols, ravishing his heart, 
£nd3rmion from Glaucus stood apart, 
And scattered in his face some fragments light. 
How lightning-swifr the change ! a youthful wight 
Smiling beneath a coral diadem. 
Out-sparkling sudden like an uptum'd gem« 
Appear'd, and, stepping to a beauteous corse, 
Kneel'd down beside it, and with tenderest force 
Press'd its cold hand, and wept, — and Scylla sigh'd I 
Endymion, with quick hand, the charm applied — 
The nymph arose : he left them to their joy, 
And onward went upon his high employ, 
Showering those powerful fragments on the dead. 
And, as he pass'd, each lifted up its head, ! 

As dotli a flower at Apollo's touch. 
Death felt it to his inwards ; 'twas too much : 
Death fell a weeping in his charnel-house. 
The Latmian persevered along, and thus 
All were re-animated. There arose 
A noise of harmony, pulses and throes 
Of gladness in the air — while many, who 
Had died in mutual arms devout and true. 
Sprang to each other madly ; and the rest 



BOOK III 143 

Felt a high certainty of being blest. 3oo 

They gazed upon Endymion. Enchantment 

Grew drunken, and would have its head and bent. 

Delicious symphonies, like airy flowers, 

Budded, and swellM, and, full-blown, shed full showers 

Of light, soft, unseen leaves of sounds divine. 

The two deliverers tasted a pure wine 

Of happiness, from fairy-press oozed out. 

Speechless they eyed each other, and about 

llie fair assembly wander'd to and fro, 

Distracted with die richest overflow 810 

Of joy that ever pour'd from heaven. 

"Away!" 

Shouted the new bom god ; ** Follow, and pay 

Our piety to Neptunus supreme ! " — 

Then Scylla, blushing sweetly from her dream. 

They led on first, bent to her meek surprise, 

Through portal columns of a giant size. 

Into the vaulted, boundless emerald. 

Joyous all followed, as the leader called, 

Down marble steps ; pouring as easily 820 

As hour-glass sand, — and fast, as you might see 

Swallows obeying the south summer's call. 

Or swans upon a gentle waterfall. 

Thus went that beautiful multitude, nor far. 
Ere from among some rocks of glittering spar. 
Just within ken, they saw descending thick 
Another multitude. Whereat more quick 
Moved either host. On a wide sand they met, 
And of those numbers every eye was wet ; 
For each their old love found. A murmuring rose, 830 
Like what was never heard in all the throes ^ 

Of wuid and waters : 'tis past human wit 
To tell ; 'tis dizziness to think of it. 

This mighty consummation made, the host 
Moved on for many a league ; and gain'd, and lost 



144 ENDYMION 

Huge sea-marks ; vanward swelling in array, 
And from the rear diminishing away, — 
mi a faint dawn surprised them. Glaucus cried, 
'* Behold ! behold, the palace of his pride ! 
God Neptune's palaces I " With noise increased. 
They shoulderM on towards that brightening east. 
At every onward step proud domes arose 
In prospect, — diamond gleams, and golden glows 
Of amber 'gainst their faces levelling. 
Joyous, and many as the leaves in spring, 
Still onward ; still the splendour gradual swell'd. 
Rich opal domes were seen, on high upheld 
By jasper pillars, letting through their shafts 
A blush of coral. Copious wonder-draughts 
Each gazer drank ; and deeper drank more near : 
For what poor mortals fragment up, as mere 
As marble was there lavish, to the vast 
Of one fair palace, that far, far surpass'd, 
Even for common bulk, those olden three, 
Memphis, and Babylon, and Nineveh. 



As large, as bright, as colour'd as the bow 
Of Iris, when unfading it doth show 
Beyond a silvery shower, was the arch 
Through which this Paphian army took its march. 
Into the outer courts of Neptime's state : 
Whence could be seen, direct, a golden gate. 
To which the leaders sped ; but not half raught 
Ere it burst open swift as fairy thought. 
And made those dazzled thousands veil their eyes 
Like callow eagles at the first sunrise. 
Soon with an eagle nativeness their gaze 
Ripe from hue-golden swoons took all the blaze, 
And then, behold ! large Neptune on his throne 
Of emerald deep : yet not exalt alone ; 
At his right hand stood winged Love, and on 
His left sat smiling Beauty's paragon 



BOOK III 145 

Far as the mariner on highest mast 
Can see all round upon the calmed vast, 
So wide was Neptune's hall : and as the blue 
Doth vault the waters, so the waters drew 
Their doming curtains, high, magnificent. 
Awed from the throne aloof; — and when storm-rent 
Disclosed the thunder-gloomings in Jove's air ; 
But soothed as now, flash'd sudden everywhere, 
Noiseless, sub-marine cloudlets, glittering 880 

Death to a human eye : for there did spring 
From natural west, and east, and south, and north, 
A light as of four sunsets, blazing forth 
A gold-green zenith 'bove the Sea-God's head. 
Of lucid depth the floor, and far outspread 
As breezeless lake, on which the slim canoe 
Of feather'd Indian darts about, as through 
The delicatest air : air verily. 
But for the portraiture of clouds and sky : 
This palace floor breath-air, — but for the amaze 890 

Of deep-seen wonders motionless, — and blaze 
Of the dome pomp, reflected in extremes. 
Globing a golden sphere. 

They stood in dreaniis 
Till Triton blew his horn. The palace rang ; 
The Nereids danced ; the Sirens faintly sang ; 
And the great Sea-King bow'd his dripping head. 
Then Love took wing, and from his pinions shed 
On all the multitude a nectarous dew. 
The ooze-bom Goddess beckoned and drew 900 

Fair Scylla and her guides to conference ; 
And when they reach'd the throned eminence 
She kist the sea-nymph's cheek, — who sat her down 
A toying with the doves. Then, — ** Mighty crown 
And sceptre of this kingdom I " Venus said, 
'* Thy vows were on a time to Nais paid : 
Behold 1 " — Two copious tear-drops instant fell 
From the God's large eyes ; he smiled delectable. 



146 ENDYMION 

And over Glaucus held his blessing hands. — 

'* Endymion I Ah 1 still wandering in the bands 

Of love ? Now this is cruel. Since the hour 

I met thee in earth's bosom, all my power 

Have I put forth to serve thee. What, not yet 

Escaped from dull mortality's harsh net ? 

A little patience, youth 1 'twill not be long. 

Or I am skill-less quite : an idle tongue, 

A humid eye, and steps luxurious, 

Wliere these are new and strange, are ominous. 

Ay, I have seen these signs in one of heaven. 

When others were all blind ; and were I given 

To utter secrets, haply I might say 

Some pleasant words: — but Love will have his 

day. 
So wait awhile expectant. Pr'ythee soon, 
Even in the passing of thine honey-moon, 
Visit my Cytherea : thp^.wilt find 
Cupid well-namred, my^donis kind ; 
And pray persuade with thee — Ah, I have done. 
All blisses be upon thee, my sweet son 1 " — 
Thus the fair goddess : while Endymion 
Knelt to receive those accents halcyon. 

Meantime a glorious revelry began 
Before the Water-Monarch. Nectar ran 
In courteous fountains to all cups outreach'd ; 
And plunder* d vines, teeming exhaustless, pleach*d 
New growth about each shell and pendent lyre ; 
The which, in disentangling for their fire, 
Pull'd down firesh foliage and coverture 
For dainty toying. Cupid, empire-sure, 
Flutter'd and laugh'd, and oft-times through the thron^^ 
Made a delighted way. Then dance, and song. 
And garlanding grew wild ; and pleasure reign'd. 
In harmless tendril they each other chain'd. 
And strove who should be smother'd deepest in 
Fresh crush of leaves. 




BOOK III 147 

Q 'tis a very sin 
For one so weak to venture his poor verse 
In such a place as this. O do not curse, 
High Muses 1 let him hurry to the ending. 

All suddenly were silent. A soft blending 
Of dulcet instruments came charmingly ; 950 

And then a hymn. 

** King of the stormy sea I 
Brother of Jove, and co-inheritor 
Of elements 1 Eternally before 
Thee the waves awfiil bow. Fast, stubborn rock, 
At thy fear'd trident shrinking, dotli unlock 
Its deep foundations, hissing into foam. 
All mountain-rivers lost, in the wide home 
Of thy capacious bosom ever flow. 
Thou firownest, and old Eolus thy foe 960 

Skulks to his cavern, 'mid the gruff complaint 
Of all his rebel tempests. Dark clouds faint 
When, from thy diadem, a silver gleam 
Slants over blue dominion. Thy bright team 
Gulphs in the morning light, and scuds along 
To bring thee nearer to that golden song 
Apollo singeth, while his chariot 
Waits at the doors of heaven. Thou art not 
For scenes like this : an empu% stem hast thou ; 
And it hath furrow'd that large front : yet now, 970 

As newly come of heaven, dost thou sit. 
To blend and interknit 
Subdued majesty vnth this glad time. 
O shell-borne King sublime 1 
We lay our hearts before thee evermore — 
We sing, and we adore 1 

<< Breathe softly, flutes ; 
Be tender of your strings, ye soothing lutes ; 
Nor be the trumpet heard 1 O vain O vain ; 

L 2 



148 ENDYMION 

Not flowers budding in 4m April rain, 9S0 

Nor breath of sleeping dove, nor river's flow, — 

No, nor the Eolian twang of Love's own bow, 

Gm mingle music fit for the soft ear 

Of goddess Cytherea I 

Yet deign, white Queen of Beauty, thy fair eyes 

On our souls' sacrifice. 

" Bright-winged Child I 
Who has another care when thou hast smiled ? 
Unformnates on earth, we see at last 
All death-shadows, and glooms that overcast 99^ 

Our spirits, fann'd away by thy light pinions. 
O sweetest essence I sweetest of all minions ! 
God of warm pulses, and dishevell'd hair, 
And panting bosoms bare 1 
Dear unseen light in darkness 1 eclipser 
Of light in light I delicious poisoner I 
Thy venom'd goblet will we quaff until 
We fill— we fill I 
And by thy Mother's lips ** 

Was heard no more i^ 
For clamour, when the golden palace door 
Open'd again, and firom vtdthout, in shone 
A new magnificence. On oozy throne 
Smooth-moving came Oceanus the old. 
To take a latest glimpse at his sheep-fold. 
Before he went into his quiet cave 
To muse for ever — Then a lucid wave, 
Scoop'd fi'om its trembling sisters of mid-sea, 
Afloat, and pillowing up the majesty 
Of Doris, and the Egean seer, her spouse — lOio 

Next, on a dolphin, clad in laurel boughs, 
Theban Amphion leaning on his lute : 
His fingers went across it — All were mute 
To gaze on Amphitrite, queen of pearb. 
And Thetis pearly too. — 



BOOK III 149 

The palace whirls 
Around giddy Endymion ; seeing he 
Was there hi strayed from mortality. 
He could not bear it — shut his eyes in vain ; 
Imagination gave a dizzier pain. 1020 

** O I shall die I sweet Venus, be my stay I 
Where is my lovely mistress ? Well-away I 
I die — I hear her voice — I feel my wing — '* 
At Neptune's feet he sank. A sudden ring 
Of Nereids were about him, in kind strife 
To usher back his spirit into life : 
But still he slept. At last they interwove 
Their cradling arms, and purposed to convey 
Towards a crystal bower far away. 

Lo 1 while slow carried through the pitying crowd, 1030 
To his inward senses these words spake aloud ; 
Written in star-light on the dark above : 
Dearest Endymion I my entire love ! 
How have I dwelt in fear of fate : 'tis done — 
Immortal hlissfor me too hast thou tuon. 
Arise then I for the hen-dove shall not hatch 
Her ready eggs, before Fll kissing snatch 
Thee into endless heaven. Awake I awake I 

The youth at once arose : a placid lake 
Came quiet to his eyes ; and forest green, 1040 

Cooler than all the wonder he had seen. 
Lulled with its simple song his fluttering breast. 
How happy once again in grassy nest I 



BOOK IV 

MUSE of my native land I loftiest Muse 1 
O first-bom on the mountains I by the hues 
Of heaven on the spiritual air begot : 
Long didst thou sit alone in northern grot, 
While yet our England was a wolfish den ; 
Before our forests heard the talk of men ; 
Before the first of Druids was a child ; — 
Long didst thou sit amid our regions wild, 
Rapt in a deep prophetic solitude. 

There came an eastern voice of solenm mood : — '^ 

Yet wast thou patient. Then sang forth the Nine, 
Apollo's garland : — yet didst thou divine 
Such home-bred glory, that they cried in vain, 
** Come hither. Sister of the Island I " Plain 
Spake fair Ausonia ; and once more she spake 
A higher summons : — still didst thou betake 
Thee to thy native hopes. O thou hast won 
A full accomplishment ! The thing is done. 
Which undone, these our latter days had risen C^ 

On barren souls. Great Muse, thou know'st what pris^^' 
Of fiesh and bone, curbs, and confines, and frets 
Our spirit's wings r despondency besets 
Our pillows ; and the fresh to-morrow mom 
Seems to give forth its light in very scom 
Of our dull, uninspired, snail-paced lives. 
Long have I said, how happy he who shrives 



BOOK IV 151 

To thee I But then I thought on poets gone, 
And could not pray : — nor can I now — so on 
I move to the end in lowliness of heart. — 

*' Ah, woe is me 1 that I should fondly part 30 

From my dear native land I Ah, foolish maid I 
Glad was the hour, when, with thee, myriads bade 
Adieu to Ganges and their pleasant fields 1 
To one so friendless the clear freshet yields 
A bitter coolness ; the ripe grape is sour : 
Yet I would have, great gods I but one short hour 
Of native air — let me but die at home.** 

Endymion to heaven's airy dome 
Was offering up a hecatomb of vows. 
When these words reach*d him. Whereupon he bows 40 
His head through thorny-green entanglement 
Of underwood, and to the sound is bent. 
Anxious as hind towards her hidden fawn. 

'* Is no one near to help me ? No fair dawn 
Of life from charitable voice ? No sweet saying 
To set my dull and sadden*d spirit playing ? 
No hand to toy vnxh mine ? No lips so sweet 
That I may worship them ? No eyelids meet 
To twinkle on my bosom ? No one dies 
Before me, till from these enslaving eyes 50 

Redemption sparkles ! — I am sad and lost." 

Thou, Carian lord, hadst better have been tost 
Into a whirlpool. Vanish into air. 
Warm mountaineer I for canst thou only bear 
A woman*s sigh alone and in distress ? 
See not her charms I Is Phoebe passionless ? 
Phoebe is fairer far — O gaze no more : — 
Yet if thou wilt behold all beauty's store. 
Behold her panting in the forest grass I 
Do not those curls of glossy jet surpass 60 



152 ENDYMION 

For tenderness the arms so idly lain 

Amongst them ? Feelest not a kindred pain. 

To see such lovely eyes in swinmiing search 

After some warm delight, that seems to perch 

Dovelike in the dim cell lying beyond 

Their upper lids ? — Hist ! 1!^ 

" O for Hermes' wand, Is: 

To touch this flower into human shape I S*^ 

That woodland Hyacinthus could escape I V^ 

From his green prison, and here kneeling down 70 1 Ss:^ 

Call me his queen, his second life's fair crown 1 I ^^ 

Ah me, how I could love ! — My soul doth melt I T3 

For the unhappy youth — Love 1 I have felt I C 

So faint a kindness, such a meek surrender C- 

To what my own full thoughts had made too tender, W 

That but for tears my life had fled away I — g 

Ye deaf and senseless minutes of the day. 
And thou, old forest, hold ye this for true, 
There is no lighming, no authentic dew 
But in the eye of love : there's not a sound, 80 

Melodious howsoever, can confound 
The heavens and earth in one to such a death 
As doth the voice of love : there's not a breath 
Will mingle kindly with the meadow air, 
Till it has panted round, and stolen a share 
Of passion from the heart 1 " — 

Upon a bough 
He leant, wretched. He surely cannot now 
Thirst for another love : O impious. 
That he can even dream upon it thus ! — oo 

Thought he, " Why am I not as are the dead, 
Since to a woe hke this I have been led 
Through the dark earth, and through the wondrous sea ? 
Goddess 1 I love thee not the less : from thee. 
By Juno's smile, I turn not — no, no, no — 
White the great waters are at ebb and flow. — 



BOOK IV 153 

I have a triple soul. O fond pretence — 
For both, for both my love is so immense, 
I feel my heart is cut in twain for them." 

And so he groanM, as one by beauty slain. lOO 

The lady's heart beat quick, and he could see 
Her gentle bosom heave tumultuously. 
He sprang from his green covert : there she lay. 
Sweet as a muskrose upon new-made hay ; 
With all her limbs on tremble, and her eyes 
Shut softly up alive. To speak he tries : 
** Fair damsel, pity me I forgive that I 
Thus violate thy bower's sanctity ! 

pardon me, for I am full of grief- 
Grief bom of thee, young angel ! fairest thief I no 
Who stolen hast away the wings wherewith 

1 was to top the heavens. Dear maid, sith 
Thou art my executioner, and I feel 
Loving and hatred, misery and weal. 

Will in a few short hours be nothing to me. 

And all my story that much passion slew me ; 

Do smile upon the evening of my days : 

And, for my tortured brain begins to craze, 

Be thou my nurse ; and let me understand 

How dying I shall kiss that lily hand. — 120 

Dost weep for me ? Then should I be content. 

Scowl on, ye fates 1 until the Ermament 

Outblackens Erebus, and the full-cavemM earth 

Crumbles into itself. By the cloud girth 

Of Jove, those tears have given me a thirst 

To meet oblivion." — As her heart would burst 

The maiden sobb'd awhile, and then replied : 

** Why must such desolation betide 

As that thou speakest of? Are not these green nooks 

Empty of all misfortune ? Do the brooks 130 

Utter a gorgon voice ? Does yonder thrush. 

Schooling its half-fledged little ones to brush 

About the dewy forest, whisper tales ? — 



154 ENDYMION 



C^r 



I^ 



w 



Speak not of grief, young stranger, or cold snails | ^^' 

Will slime the rose to night. Though if thou wilt, 

Methinks 'twould be a guilt — a very guilt — 

Not to companion thee, and sigh away 

The light— the dusk— the dark— till break of day I " 

** Dear lady," said Endjrmion, ** 'tis past : 

I love thee 1 and my days can never last. 140 

That I may pass in patience still speak : 

Let me have music dying, and I seek 

No more delight — I bid adieu to all. 

Didst thou not after other climates call. 

And murmur about Indian streams ? " — ^Then she, 

Sitting beneath the midmost forest tree, 

For pity sang this roundelay 

" O Sorrow, 

Why dost borrow 
The natural hue of health, from vermeil lips ? — 150 

To give maiden blushes 

To the white rose bushes ? 
Or is it thy dewy hand the daisy tips ? 

** O Sorrow, 

Why dost borrow 
The lustrous passion from a falcon-eye ? — 

To give the glow-worm light ? 

Or, on a moonless night. 
To tinge, on siren shores, the salt sea-spry ? 

** O Sorrow, 160 

Why dost borrow 
The mellow ditties from a mourning tongue ? — 

To give at evening pale 

Unto the nighting^e, 
That thou mayst listen the cold dews among ? 

** O Sorrow, 
Why dost borrow 



BOOK IV 15S 

Heart's lightness from the merriment of May? — 

A lover would not tread 

A cowslip on the head, 170 

Though he should dance from eve till peep of day — 

Nor any drooping flower 

Held sacred for thy bower, 
Wherever he may sport himself and play. 

" To Sorrow, 

I bade good-morrow. 
And thought to leave her far away behind ; 

But cheerly, cheerly. 

She loves me dearly ; 
She is so constant to me, and so kind : 180 

I would deceive her. 

And so leave her, 
But ah 1 she is so constant and so kind. 

** Beneath my palm trees, by the river side, 
I sat a weeping : in the whole world wide 
There was no one to ask me why I wept, — 

And so I kept 
Brimming the water-lily cups with tears 

Cold as my fears. 

** Beneath my palm-trees, by the river side, 190 

I sat a weeping : what enamour'd bride. 
Cheated by shadowy wooer from the clouds. 

But hides and shrouds 
Beneath dark palm trees by a river side ? 

** And as I sat, over the light blue hills 
There came a noise of revellers : the rills 
Into the wide stream came of purple hue — 

'Twas Bacchus and his crew I 
The earnest trumpet spake, and silver thrills 
From kissing cymbals made a merry din — 200 

'Twas Bacchus and his kin I 



156 ENDYMION 

Like to a moving vintage down they came, 
Crown'd with green leaves, and faces all on 
All madly dancing through the pleasant valley. 

To scare thee, Melancholy 1 
O then, O then, thou wast a simple name ! 
And I forgot thee, as the berried holly 
By shepherds is forgotten, when, in June, 
Tall chesmuts keep away the sun and moon : — 

I rush'd into the folly 1 2u 

'* Within his car, aloft, young Bacchus stood, 
Trifling his ivy-dart, in dancing mood. 

With sidelong laughing ; 
And little rills of crimson wine imbrued 
His plump white arms, and shoulders, enough wtiitc 

For Venus* pearly bite : 
And near him rode Silenus on his ass, 
Pelted vnth flowers as he on did pass 

Tipsily quafflng. 

** Whence came ye, merry Damsels ! whence came yc ' 
So many, and so many, and such glee? [^^^ 

Why have ye left your bowers desolate. 
Your lutes, and gentler fate ? — 

* We follow Bacchus 1 Bacchus on the wing, 

A conquering 1 
Bacchus, young Bacchus 1 good or ill betide. 
We dance before him thorough kingdoms wide:— 
Come hither, lady fair, and joined be 

To our wild minstrelsy I * 

•* Whence came ye, jolly Satyrs I whence came ye! 230 
So many, and so many, and such glee ? 
Why have ye left your forest haunts, why left 
Your nuts in oak-tree deft ? — 

* For wine, for wine we left our kernel tree ; 
For wine we left our heath, and yellow brooms, 

And cold mushrooms ; 



BOOK IV 157 

For wine we follow Bacchus through the earth ; 
Great God of breathless cups and chirping mirth 1 — 
Come hither, lady fair, and joined be 
To our mad minstrelsy I ' 240 

*' Over wide streams and mountains great we went, 
And, save when Bacchus kept his ivy tent, 
Onward the tiger and the leopard pants. 

With Asian elephants : 
Onward these myriads — with song and dance, 
With zebras striped, and sleek Arabians* prance, 
Web-footed alligators, crocodiles. 
Bearing upon their scaly backs, in files. 
Plump infant laughers mimicking the coil 
Of seamen, and stout galley-rowers' toil : 250 

With toying oars and silken sails they glide. 

Nor care for wind and tide. 

<' Mounted on panthers' furs and lions' manes. 
From rear to van they scour about the plains ; 
A three days' journey in a moment done : 
And always, at the rising of the sun. 
About the wilds they hunt with spear and horn, 
On spleenful unicorn. 

<'I saw Osirian Egypt kneel adown 

Before the vine-wreath crown I 260 

I saw parch'd Abyssinia rouse and sing 

To the silver cymbals' ring I 
I saw the whelming vintage hotly pierce 

Old Tartary the fierce 1 
The kings of Inde their jewel-sceptres vail. 
And firom their treasures scatter pearled hail ; 
Great Brahma from his mystic heaven groans, 

And all his priesthood moans ; 
Before young Bacchus' eye-wink turning pale. — 
Into these regions came I, following him, 270 

Sick hearted, weary — so I took a whim 



158 ENDYMION 

To stray away into these forests drear 

Alone, without a peer : 
And I have told thee all thou mayest hear. 

" Young stranger ! 

Fve been a ranger 
In search of pleasure throughout every clime : 

Alas ! 'tis not for me : 

BewitchM I sure must be, 
To lose in grieving all my maiden prime. 

" G)me then, Sorrow 1 

Sweetest Sorrow ! 
Like an own babe I nurse thee on my breast : 

I thought to leave thee, 

And deceive thee, 
But now of all the world I love thee best. 

"There is not one. 

No, no, not one 
But thee to comfort a poor lonely maid ; 

Thou art her mother. 

And her brother. 
Her playmate, and her wooer in the shade." 

O what a sigh she gave in finishing. 
And look, quite dead to every worldly thing 1 
Endymion could not speak, but gazed on her ; 
And listenM to the wind that now did stir 
About the crisped oaks full drearily, 
Yet with as sweet a softness as might be 
Remembered from its velvet summer song. 
At last he said : " Poor lady, how thus long 
Have I been able to endure that voice ? 
Fair Melody 1 kind Siren 1 Fve no choice ; 
I must be thy sad servant evermore : 
I cannot choose but kneel here and adore. 
Alas, I must not think — by Phoebe, no I 
Let me not think, soft Angel ! shall it be so ? 



BOOK IV 159 

Say, beautifiillest, shall I never think ? 

O thou couldst foster me beyond the brink 

Of recollection 1 make my watchful care 

Gose up its bloodshot eyes, nor see despair 1 310 

Do gently murder half my soul, and I 

Shall feel the other half so utterly 1— 

I'm giddy at that cheek so fair and smooth ; 

O let it blush so ever I let it soothe 

My madness I let it mantle rosy-warm 

With the tinge of love, panting in safe alarm. — 

This cannot be thy hand, and yet it is ; 

And this is sure thine other softling — this 

Thine own fair bosom, and I am so near 1 

Wilt £sdl asleep ? O let me sip that tear 1 320 

And whisper one sweet word that I may know 

This is this world — sweet dewy blossom 1 " — IVoi I 

Woe I Woe to that Endymion I Where is he ? — 

Even these words went echoing dismally 

Through the wide forest — a most fearful tone. 

Like one repenting in his latest moan ; 

And while it died away a shade passM by, 

As of a thunder cloud. When arrows fiy 

Through the thick branches, poor ring-doves sleek forth 

Their timid necks and tremble ; so these both 330 

Leant to each other trembling, and sat so 

Waiting for some destruction — when lo, 

Foot-feather'd Mercury appear'd sublime 

Beyond the tall tree tops ; and in less time 

Than shoots the slanted hail-storm, down he dropt 

Towards the ground ; but rested not, nor stopt 

One moment from his home : only the sward 

He vfixh his wand light touch'd, and heavenward 

Swifter than sight was gone — even before 

The teeming earth a sudden witness bore 340 

Of his swift magic. Diving swans appear 

Above the crystal circlings white and clear ; 

And catch the cheated eye in wild surprise, 

How they can dive in sight and unseen rise — 



i6o ENDYMION 

So from the turf outsprang two steeds jet-black, 
Each with large dark blue wings upon his back. 
The youth of Caria placed the lovely dame 
On one, and felt himself in spleen to tame 
The other's fierceness. Through the air they flew, 
High as the eagles. Like two drops of dew 3)^ 

Exhaled to Phoebus' lips, away they are gone, 
Far from the earth away — unseen, alone. 
Among cool clouds and winds, but that the free, 
The buoyant life of song can floating be 
Above their heads, and follow them untired. — 
Muse of my native land, am I inspired ? 
This is the giddy air, and I must spread 
Wide pinions to keep here ; nor do I dread 
Or height, or depth, or width, or any chance 
Precipitous : I have beneath my glance 3^ 

Those towering horses and their mournful freight. 
Could I thus sail, and see, and thus await 
Fearless for power of thought, without thine aid ?— 
There is a sleepy dusk, an odorous shade 
From some approaching wonder, and behold 
Those winged steeds, with snorting nostrils bold 
Snufl" at its faint extreme, and seem to tire, 
Dying to embers from their native fire 1 

There curl'd a purple mist around them ; soon, 
It seem'd as when around the pale new moon ^^ 

Sad Zephyr droops the clouds like weeping willow : 
'Twas Sleep slow journeying with head on pillow. 
For the first time, since he came nigh dead bom 
From the old womb of night, his cave forlorn 
Had he left more forlorn ; for the first time, 
He felt aloof the day and morning's prime — 
Because into his depth Cimmerian 
There came a dream, showing how a young man, 
Ere a lean bat could plump its wintry skin, ^ 

Would at high Jove's empyreal footstool win ^ 

An immortality, and how espouse 



BOOK IF 

Jove's daughter, and be reckon'd of his house. 
Now was he slumberiiig towards heaven's gate, 
That he might at the threshold one hour wait 
To hear the marriage melodies, and then 
Sink downward to his dusky cave again. 
His litter of smooth semilucent mist. 
Diversely tinged with rose and amethyst. 
Puzzled those eyes that for the centre sought ; 
And scarcely for one moment could be caught 
His sluggish form reposing motionless. 
Those two on winged steeds, with all the stress 
Of vision search'd for him, as one would look 
Athwart the sallows of a river nook 
To catch a glance at silver throated eels, — 
Or from old Skiddaw's top, when fog conceals 
His rugged forehead in a mantle pale. 
With an eyeless towards some pleasant vale 
I>esa7 a {kvourite hamlet faint and iar. 

These raven horses, though they foster'd are 
Of earth's splenetic fire, dully drop 
Their fuL-veiu'd ears, nostrils blood wide, and stop ; 
Upon the spiritless mist have they outspread 
Tbeir ample feathers, are in slumber dead,— 
And on those pinions, level in mid air, 
Endymion sleepeth and the lady fair. 
^owly they sail, slowly as icy isle 
Upon a calm sea drifting : and meanwhile 
The mournful wanderer dreams. Behold 1 he walks 
On heaven's pavement ; broihecly he talks 4 

To divine powers : from his hand full fain 
Juno's proud birds are pecking pearly grain : 
He tries the nerve of Phcebus' golden bow, 
And asketh where the golden apples grow : 
Upon his arm he braces Pallas' shield. 
And strives in vain to unsettle and wield 
A Jovian thunderbolt : arch Hebe brings 
A full-brimm'd goblet, dances lightly, sings 



1 62 ENDYMION 

And tantalizes long ; at last he drinks, 

And lost in pleasure at her feet he sinks, ^*° 

Touching with dazzled lips her starlight hand. 

He blows a bugle, — an ethereal band 

Are visible above : the Seasons four, — 

Green-kirtled Spring, flush Summer, golden store 

In Autumn's sickle. Winter frosty hoar, 

Join dance with shadowy Hours ; while still the bla^^' 

In swells unmitigated, still doth last 

To sway their floating morris. " Whose is this ? 

Whose bugle ? " he inquires : they smile — " O Dis ! 

Why is this mortal here ? Dost thou not know 43° 

Its mistress' lips ? Not thou ? — *Tis Dian*s : lo I 

She rises crescented 1 " He looks, 'tis she, 

His very goddess : good-bye earth, and sea, 

And air, and pains, and care, and suffering ; 

Good-bye to all but love I Then doth he spring 

Towards her, and awakes — and, strange, o'erhead, 

Of those same fragrant exhalations bred. 

Beheld awake his very dream : the gods 

Stood smiling ; merry Hebe laughs and nods ; 

And Phoebe bends towards him crescented. 44^ 

O state perplexing ! On the pinion bed. 

Too well awake, he feels the panting side 

Of his delicious lady. He vdio died 

For soaring too audacious in the sun. 

Where that same treacherous wax began to run, 

Felt not more tongue-tied than Endymion. 

His heart leapt up as to its rightful throne. 

To that fair shadow'd passion pulsed its way — 

Ah, what perplexity ! Ah, well a day I 

So fond, so beauteous was his bed-fellow, <4^ 

He could not help but kiss her : then he grew 

Awhile forgetful of all beauty save 

Young Phoebe's, golden hair'd ; and so 'gan crave 

Forgiveness : yet he tum'd once more to look 

At the sweet sleeper, — all his soul was shook, — 

She press' d his hand in slumber ; so once more 



BOOK IV 163 

He could not help but kiss her and adore. 

At this the shadow wept, melting away. 

The Latmian started up : ** Bright goddess, stay I [460 

Search my most hidden breast ! By truth's own tongue, 

I have no daedale heart : why is it wrung 

To desperation ? Is there nought for me. 

Upon die bourne of bliss, but misery? " 

These words awoke the stranger of dark tresses : 
Her dawning love-look rapt Endymion blesses 
With 'haviour soft. Sleep yawn'd from underneath. 
*' Thou swan of Ganges, let us no more breathe 
This murky phantasm I thou contented seem*st, 
PillowM in lovely idleness, nor dream'st 
What horrors may discomfort thee and me. 470 

Ah, shouldst thou die from my heart-treachery I — 
Yet did she merely weep— her gentle soul 
Hath no revenge in it : as it is whole 
In tenderness, would I were whole in love I 
Gm I prize thee, fair maid, all price above. 
Even when I feel as true as innocence ? 
I do, I do. — What is this soul then ? Whence 
Came it ? It does not seem my own, and I 
Have no self-passion or identity. 

Some feaifiil end must be : where, where is it ? 480 

By Nemesis, I see my spirit flit 
Alone about the dark — Forgive me, sweet : 
Shall we away ? " He roused the steeds : they beat 
Their wings chivalrous into the clear air, 
Leaving old Sleep within his vapoury lair. 

The good-night blush of eve was waning slow. 
And Vesper, risen star, began to throe 
In the dusk heavens silvery, when they 
Thus sprang direct towards the Galaxy. 
Nor did speed hinder converse soft and strange — 490 
Eternal oaths and vows they interchange. 
In such wise, in such temper, so aloof 

M 2 



1 64 ENDYMION 

Up in the winds, beneath a starry roof. 

So witless of their doom, that verily 

"lis well nigh past man's, search their hearts to see ; 

Whether they wept, or laugh' d, or grieved, or toy'd— 

Most like with joy gone mad, with sorrow do/d. 

Full facing their swift flight, from ebon streak, 
The moon put forth a little diamond peak, 
No bigger than an unobserved star, 50° 

Or tiny point of fairy scimetar ; 
Bright signal that she only stoopM to tie 
Her silver sandals, ere deliciously 
She bow'd into the heavens her timid head. 
Slowly she rose, as though she would have fled, 
While to his lady meek the Carian tum*d. 
To mark if her dark eyes had yet discem'd 
This beauty in its birth — Despair I despair I 
He saw her body fading gaunt and spare [5£^ 

In the cold moonshine. Straight he seized her wrist ; 
It melted from his grasp : her hand he kiss*d. 
And, horror 1 kiss'd his own — he was alone. 
Her steed a little higher soar'd, and then 
Dropt hawkwise to the earth. 

There lies a den. 
Beyond the seeming confines of the space 
Made for the soul to wander in and trace 
Its own existence, of remotest glooms. 
Darlc regions are around it, where the tombs 
Of buried griefs the spirit sees, but scarce 52* 

One hour doth linger weeping, for the pierce 
Of new-bom woe it feels more inly smart : 
And in these regions many a venom'd dart 
At random flies ; they are the proper home 
Of every ill : the man is yet to come 
Who hath not joumey'd in this native hell. 
But few have ever felt how calm and well 
Sl^p may be had in that deep den of all. 



BOOK nr 165 

There anguish does not sting ; nor pleasure pall : 

Woe-hurricanes beat ever at the gate, S 5^ 

Yet all is still within and desolate. 

Beset with plainful gusts, within ye hear 

No sound so loud as when on curtainM bier 

The death-watch tick is stifled. Enter none 

Who strive therefore : on the sudden it is won. 

Just when the suflerer begins to bum. 

Then it is free to him ; and from an urn. 

Still fed by melting ice, he takes a draught — 

Young Semele such richness never quaft 

In her maternal longing. Happy gloom ! 540 

Dark Paradise I where pale becomes the bloom 

Of health by due ; where silence dreariest 

Is most articulate ; where hopes infest ; 

Where those eyes are the brightest far that keep 

Their lids shut longest in a dreamless sleep. 

O happy spirit-home 1 O wondrous soul ! 

Pregnant with such a den to save the whole 

In thine own depth. Hail, gentle drian 1 

For, never since thy griefs and woes began. 

Hast thou felt so content : a grievous feud 550 

Hath let thee to this Cave of Quietude. 

Ay, his luU'd soul was there, although upborne 

With dangerous speed : and so he did not mourn 

Because he knew not whither he was going. 

So happy was he, not the aerial blowing 

Of trumpets at clear parley from the east 

Could rouse from that fine relish, that high feast. 

They stung the feather'd horse : with fierce alarm 

He fiappM towards the sound. Alas, no charm 

Could lift Endymion's head, or he had view'd 560 

A skyey mask, a pinion'd multimde, — 

And silvery was its passing : voices sweet 

Warbling the while as if to lull and greet 

The wanderer in his path. Thus warbled they, 

While past the vision went in bright array. 



i66 



ENDYMION 



** Who, who from Dian*s feast would be away? 
For all the golden bowers of the day 
Are empty left ? Who, who away would be 
From Cynthia's wedding and festivity ? 
Not Hesperus : lo ! upon his silver wings $7° 

He leans away for highest heaven and sings, 
Snapping his lucid fingers merrily ! — 
Ah, Zephyrus I art here, and Flora too I 
Ye tender bibbers of the rain and dew, 
Young playmates of the rose and daffodil. 
Be careful, ere ye enter in, to fill 

Your baskets high 
With fennel green, and balm, and golden pines, 
Savory, latter-mint, and columbines, 
Cool parsley, basil sweet, and sunny thyme ; 9 

Yea, every flower and leaf of every clime. 
All gathered in the dewy morning : hie 

Away 1 fly, fly I — 
Crystalline brother of the belt of heaven, 
Aquarius ! to whom king Jove has given 
Two liquid pulse streams 'stead of feather'd wings. 
Two fan-like fountains, — thine illuminings 

For Dian play : 
Dissolve the frozen purity of air ; 
Let thy white shoulders silvery and bare $ 

Show cold through watery pinions ; make more bright 
The Star-Queen's crescent on her marriage night : 

Haste, haste away I — 
Castor has tamed the planet Lion, see ! 
And of the Bear has Pollux mastery : 
A thurd is in the race ! who is the third. 
Speeding away swift as the eagle bird ? 

The ramping Centaur ! 
The Lion's mane's on end : the Bear how fierce I 
The Centaur's arrow ready seems to pierce 
Some enemy : far forth his bow is bent 
Into the blue of heaven. He'll be shent. 

Pale unrelenter. 



60 



Andre 
Sotir 
Joio 

Da 

Tt 
Y« 

B3 



^ 
^ 




BOOK IV 167 

When he shall hear the wedding lutes a playing. — 
Andromeda 1 sweet woman 1 why delaying 
So timidly among the stars : come hither 1 
Join this bright throng, and nimbly follow whither 

They all are going. 
Danae's Son, before Jove newly bow'd. 
Has wept for thee, calling to Jove aloud. 610 

Thee, gentle lady, did he disenthral : 
Ye shall for ever live and love, for all 

Thy tears are flowing.— 
By Daphne's fright, behold Apollo 1 "— 

More 
£nd3rmion heard not : down his steed him bore. 
Prone to the green head of a misty hill. 

His first touch of the earth went nigh to kill. 
** Alas 1 " said he, ** were I but alwa3rs borne [620 

Through dangerous winds, had but my footsteps worn 
A path in hell, for ever would I bless 
Horrors which nourish an uneasiness 
For my own sullen conquering : to him 
Who lives beyond earth's boundary, grief is dim. 
Sorrow is but a shadow : now I see 
The grass ; I feel the solid ground — Ah me I 
It is Uiy voice — divinest 1 Where ? — who ? who 
Left thee so quiet on this bed of dew ? 
Behold upon this happy earth we are ; 
Let us aye love each other ; let us fare 630 

On forest-fruits, and never, never go 
Among the abodes of mortals here below. 
Or be by phantoms duped. O destiny 1 
Into a labyrinth now my soul would fly. 
But with thy beauty will I deaden it. 
Where didst thou melt to ? By thee will I sit 
For ever : let our fate stop here — a kid 
I on this spot will offer : Pan will bid 
Us live in peace, in love and peace among 



i68 ENDYMION 

His forest wildernesses. I have clung 

To nothing, loved a nothing, nothing seen 

Or felt but a great dream I O, I have been 

Presumptuous against love, against the sky, 

Against all elements, against the tie 

Of mortals each to each, against the blooms 

Of flowers, rush of rivers, and the tombs 

Of heroes gone ! Against his proper glory 

Has my own soul conspired : so my story 

Will I to children utter, and repent. 

There never lived a mortal man, who bent ^ 

His appetite beyond his natural sphere. 

But starved and died. My sweetest Indian, hexe, 

Here will I kneel, for thou redeemed hast 

My life from too thin breathing : gone and past 

Are cloudy phantasms. Caverns lone, farewell 1 

And air of visions, and the monstrous swell 

Of visionary seas 1 No, never more 

Shall airyjvoices cheat me to the shore 

Of tangled wonder, breathless and aghast. 

Adieu, my daintiest Dream ! although so vast 

My love is still for thee. The hour may come 

When we shall meet in pure elysium. 

On earth I may not love thee ; and therefore 

Doves will I offer up, and sweetest store 

All through the teeming year : so thou wilt shine 

On me, and on this damsel fair of mine, 

And bless our simple lives. My Indian bliss ! 

My river-lily bud 1 one human kiss I 

One sigh of real breath — one gentle squeeze, 

Warm as a dove's nest among sunamer trees. 

And warm with dew at ooze from living blood 1 

Whither didst melt ? Ah, what of that ! — all good 

We'll talk about — no more of dreaming. — Now, 

Where shall our dwelling be ? Under the brow 

Of some steep mossy hill, where ivy dun 

Would hide us up, although spring leaves were none 9 

And where dark yew trees, as we rustle through. 



BOOK IV 169 

Will drop their scarlet berry cups of dew ? 

thou wouldst joy to live in such a place ; 

Dusk for our loves, yet light enough to grace 680 

Those gentle limbs on mossy bed reclined : 

For by one step the blue sky shouldst thou find. 

And by another, in deep dell below, 

See, through the trees, a little river go 

All in its mid-day gold and glimmering. 

Honey firom out the gnarled hive Til bring, 

And apples, wan with sweetoess, gather thee, — 

Cresses that grow where no man may them see, 

And sorrel untom by the dew-claw'd stag : 

Pipes will I fashion of the syrinx flag, 690 

That thou mayst always know whither I roam, 

When it shall please thee in our quiet home 

To listen and think of love. Still let me speak ; 

Still let me dive into the joy I seek, — 

For yet the past doth prison me. The rill, 

Thou haply mayst delight in, will I fill 

With fairy fishes from the mountain tarn. 

And thou shalt feed them from the squirrel's bam. 

Its bottom will I strew with amber shells. 

And pebbles blue from deep enchanted wells. 700 

Its sides FU plant with dew-sweet eglantine. 

And honeysuckles full of clear bee-wine. 

1 will entice this crystal rill to trace 
Love's silver name upon the meadow's face, 
ril kneel to Vesta, for a flame of fire ; 
And to god Phoebus^ for a golden lyre ; 
To Empress Dian, for a hunting spear ; 

To Vesper, for a taper silver-clear. 

That I may see thy beauty through the night ; 

To Flora, and a nightingale shall light 710 

Tame on thy finger ; to the River-gods, 

And they shall bring thee taper fishing-rods 

Of gold, and lines of Naiads' long bright tress. 

Heaven shield thee for thine utter loveliness I 

Thy mossy footstool shall the altar be 



170 ENDYMION 

Tore which I'll bend, bending, dear love, to thee : 
Those lips shall be my Delphos, and shall speak 
Laws to my footsteps, colour to my cheek. 
Trembling or steadfastness to this same voice. 
And of three sweetest pleasurings the choice : 720 

And that affectionate light, those diamond things. 
Those eyes, those passions, those supreme pearl springs, 
Shall be my grief, or twinkle me to pleasure. 
Say, is not bliss within our perfect seizure ? 

that I could not doubt 1 " 

The mountaineer 
Thus strove by fancies vain and crude to clear 
His briar'd path to some tranquillity. 
It gave bright gladness to his lady's eye, 
And yet the tears she wept were tears of sorrow ; 730 
Answering thus, just as the golden morrow 
Beam'd upward from the valleys of the east : 
*^ O that the flutter of this heart had ceased. 
Or the sweet name of love had pass'd away. 
Young feather'd tyrant I by a swift decay 
Wilt thou devote this body to the earth : 
And I do think that at my very birth 

1 lisp'd thy blooming titles inwardly ; 

For at the first, first dawn and thought of thee, 

With uplift hands I blest the stars of heaven. 74<' 

Art thou not cruel ? EHr have I striven 

To think thee kind, but ah, it will not do 1 

When yet a child, I heard that kisses drew 

Favour from thee, and so I kisses gave 

To the void air, bidding them find out love : 

But when I came to feel how far above 

All fancy, pride, and fickle maidenhood. 

All earthly pleasure, all imagined good, 

Was the warm tremble of a devout kiss, — 

Even then, that moment, at the thought of this, 75^ 

Fainting I fell into a bed of fiowers. 



BOOK IF I 

And languish'd there three days. Ye milder powers, 

Am I not cruelly wrong'd ? Believe, believe 

Me, dear Endymion, were I to weave 

With my own fancies garlands of sweet life. 

Thou shouldst be one of all. Ah, biner strife I 

I may not be thy love : I am kirbiiden — 

Indeed 1 am— thwarted, affrigliicl, chidden, 

By things I trembled at, and gor-nQ vifralh. 

Twice hast thou ask'd whilhi-r I v^ ent : henceforth 7 

Ask me no more 1 I may not uittr it. 

Nor may I be thy love. V 

Ourselves at once lo vtnnc; 

Wc mifflii 1.TT1V-.-- "• 1 V.J 



,ht commit 
vK might die ; 
:|'tU0US thou£^tl 



Enbrgc n ■■ ■ 

In tnumnels of perverse delii 

No, no, that shall not be : thee will I bless. 

And bid a long adieu." 

The Carian 
Mo word retum'd : both lovelorn, silent, wan. 
Into the valleys green t<^ether went. 
Far wandering, they were perforce content 
To 9t beneath a fair lone beechen tree ; 
Nor at each other gaied, but heavily 
Pored on its hazel drque of shedded leaves. 

Endymion I unhappy I it nigh grieves 
Me to behold thee thus in last extreme : 
Ensky'd ere this, but truly that I deem 
Truth the best music in a first-bom song. 
Thy lute-voiced brother will I sing ere long. 
And thou shalt aid — hast thou not aided me ? 
Yes, moonlight Emperor I felicity 
Has been thy meed for many thousand years ; 
Yet often have I, on the brink of tears, 
Moum'd as if yet thou wert a forester; — 
Forgetting the old tale. 



173 



ENDYMION 



He did not stir 
His e3res from the dead leaves, or one small pulse 
Of joy he might have felt. The spirit culls 
Unfaded amaranth, when wild it strajrs 79^ 

Through the old garden-ground of boyish days. 
A little onward ran the very stream 
By which he took his first soft poppy dream ; 
And on the very bark 'gainst which he leant 
A crescent he had carved, and round it spent 
His skill in little stars. The teeming tree 
Had swoll'n and green'd the pious charartery. 
But not ta'en out. Why, there was not a slope 
Up which he had not fear*d the antelope ; 
And not a tree, beneath whose rooty shade 
He had not with his tamed leopards play'd : 
Nor could an arrow light, or javelin. 
Fly in the air where his had never been — 
And yet he knew it not. 

O treachery 1 
Why does his lady smile, pleasing her eye 
With all his sorrowing ? He sees her not. 
But who so stares on him ? His sister surel 
Peona of the woods I — Can she endure? — 
Impossible — how dearly they embrace ! 
His lady smiles ; delight is in her face ; 
It is no treachery. 

** Dear brother mine 1 
Endymion, weep not so 1 Why shouldst thou pine 
When all great Latmos so exalt will be ? 
Thank the great gods, and look not bitterly ; 
And speak not one pale word, and sigh no more. 
Sure I will not believe thou hast such store 
Of grief, to last thee to my kiss again. 
Thou surely canst not bear a mind in pain, 8: 

Come hand in hand with one so beautiful. 
Be happy both of you ! for I will pull 
The flowers of autumn for your coronals. 



T 

A 

S 

T 

P 

O 

Fi 

N 

& 

S 

Is 

Si^ 

O 

A 

Fc 

G 

1 



BOOK IV 17) 

Pan's holy priest for young Endymion calls ; 

And when he is restored, thou, fairest dame, 

Shalt be our queen. Now, is it not a shame 

To see ye thus, — not very, very sad ? 

Perhaps ye are too happy to be glad : 

O feel as if it were a common day ; 

Free-voiced as one who never was away. 830 

No tongue shall ask, whence come ye ? but ye shall 

Be gods of your own rest imperial. 

Not even I, for one whole month, will pry 

Into the hours that have passM us by, 

Since in my arbour I did sing to thee. 

O Hermes 1 on this very night will be 

A hynming up to Cynthia, queen of light ; 

For the soothsayers old saw yesternight 

Good visions in the air, — whence will befal. 

As say these sages, health perpetual 840 

To shepherds and their flocks ; and furthermore. 

In Dian's face they read the gentle lore : 

Therefore for her these vesper-carols are. 

Our friends will all be there from nigh and far. 

Many upon thy death have ditties made ; 

And many, even now, their foreheads sliade 

With C3rpress, on a day of sacrifice. 

New singing for our maids shah thou devise, 

And pluck the sorrow from our huntsmen's brows. 

Tell me, my lady-queen, how to espouse 850 

This wayward brother to his rightful joys I 

His eyes are on thee bent, as thou didst poise 

His fate most goddess-like. Help me, I pray, 

To lure — Endymion, dear brother, say 

What ails thee ? " He could bear no more, and so 

Bent his soul fiercely like a spiritual bow. 

And twang'd it inwardly, and calmly said : 

** I would have thee my only friend, sweet maid 1 

My only visitor I not ignorant though, 

That those deceptions which for pleasure go 860 

'Mong men, are pleasures real as real may be : 



174 ENDYMION 

But there are higher ones I may not see. 

If impiously an earthly realm I take. 

Since I saw thee, I have been wide awake 

Night after night, and day by day, until 

Of the emp3rrean I have drunk my fill. 

Let it content thee. Sister, seeing me 

More happy than betides mortality. 

A hermit young, 1*11 live in mossy cave. 

Where thou alone shalt come to me, and lav ^7° 

Thy spirit in the wonders I shall tell. 

Through me the shepherd realm shall prosper well ; 

For to thy tongue will I all health confide. 

And, for my sake, let this young maid abide 

With thee as a dear sister. Thou alone, 

Peona, mayst return to me. I own 

This may sound strangely : but when, dearest girl, 

Thou seest it for my happiness, no pearl 

Will trespass down those cheeks. Companion fair I 

Wilt be content to dwell with her, to share - 

This sister's love with me ? " Like one resigned 

And bent by circumstance, and thereby blind 

In self-commitment, thus that meek unknown : 

** Ay, but a buzzing by my ears has flown. 

Of jubilee to Dian : — truth I heard 1 

Well then, I see there is no little bird, 

Tender soever, but is Jove's own care. 

Long have I sought for rest, and, unaware, 

Behold I find it 1 so exalted too ! 

So after my own heart 1 I knew, I knew 8 

There was a place untenanted in it : 

In that same void white dastity shall sit. 

And monitor me nightly to lone slumber. 

With sanest lips I vow me to the number 

Of Dian's sisterhood ; and, kind lady. 

With thy good help, this very ni^t shall see 

My future days to her fane consecrate." 

As feels a dreamer what doth most create 



BOOK IF 

His own particular fright, so these three felt : 

Or like oae who, in after ages, Imelt 

To Lucifer or Baal, when he'd pine 

After a little sleep : or when in mine 

Far under-^ouod, a sleeper meets his friends 

Who know him not. Each diligently bends 

Towards common thoughts and things for very fear ; 

Striving thdr ghastly malady to cheer. 

By thinking it a thing of yes and no. 

That housewives talk of. But the spirit-blow 

Wis struck, anJ jII wort dreamers. At the last 

Endymion aid : " Are not our fates all cast ? 

Why stand we heri; V AiUeu, ye tender pair I 

Adieul" WhertJi ili.i.cmaidens, with wild stare, 

Walk'd diwily aw^\'. I'.iined and hot 

His eyes went after t}iL'ni, until they got 

Near to a cypress grove, wliosc deadly maw. 

In one swiA moment, would what then he saw 

Engulph for ever. "Stay I " he cried, "ah, stay I 

Turn, damsclsl hist I one word 1 have to say : 

Sweet Indian, I would see thee once again. 

It is a thing I dole on : so I'd fain, 

Peona, ye sliould hand in hand repair 

Into those holy groves, that silent arc 

Behind great Dian's temple. I'll be yoa, 

At vesper's earliest twinkle — they are gone — 

But once, once, once again—" At this he prest 

His hands against his face, and then did rest 

His head upon a mossy hillock grteu, 

And so remain'd as he a corpse had been 

All the long day ; save wlien be s^^mdy lifted 

His eyes abroad, to see how sh.iJi-.w-, ihified 

With the slow move of tiruf, — '.!uit;i'^h and weary 

Until tlic poplar tops, in journuy ilrciry. 

Had reach'd tho river's brim. Tlicii up he rose. 

Anil, slovilv JS that vurj' river flows, 

Walk'd towards the temple grove with this lament : 

" Why such a golden eve i The breeze b sem 



176 ENDYMION 

Guref ul and soft, that not a leaf may fall 

Before the serene father of them all 

Bows down his summer head below the west. 

Now am I of breath, speech, and speed possest, 

But at the setting I must bid adieu 

To her for the last time. Night will strew 

On the damp grass myriads of lingering leaves, 

And with them shall I die ; nor much it grieves 

To die, when summer dies on the cold sward. 

Why, I have been a butterfly, a lord 

Of flowers, garlands, love-knots, silly posies, 

Groves, meadows, melodies, and arbour roses ; 

My kingdom*s at its death, and just it is 

That I should die with it : so in all this 

We miscal grief, bale, sorrow, heartbreak, woe. 

What is there to plain of? By Titan's foe 

I am but rightly served." So saying, he 

Tripp'd lightly on, in sort of deathful glee ; 

Laughing at the clear stream and setting sun, 

As though they jests had been : nor had he done 

His laugh at nature's holy countenance. 

Until that grove appear'd, as if perchance. 

And then his tongue with sober seemlihed 

Gave utterance as he enter'd : ** Ha ! " he said, 

** King of the butterflies ; but by this gloom, 

And by old Rhadamanthus' tongue of doom, 

This dusk religion, pomp of solitude, 

And the Promethean clay by thief endued, 

By old Satumus' forelock, by his head 

Shook with eternal palsy, I did wed 

Myself to things of light from infancy ; 

And thus to be cast out, thus lorn to die, 

Is sure enough to make a mortal man 

Grow impious." So he inwardly began 

On things for which no wording can be found ; 

Deeper and deeper sinking, until drown'd 

Beyond the reach of music : for the choir 

Of Cynthia he heard not, though rough briar 



BOOK IF 177 

Nor mufiEing thicket inteq)osed to dull 

The vesper hymn, far swollen, soft and full, 

Through the dark pillars of those sylvan aisles. 

He saw not the two maidens, nor their smiles. 

Wan as primroses gathered at midnight 

By chilly finger'd spring. "Unhappy wight I 980 

Endymion I " said Peona, " we are here ! 

What wouldst thou ere we all are laid on bier?" 

Then he embraced her, and his lady's hand 

Press'd, saying : " Sister, I would have conmiand. 

If it were heaven's will, on our sad fate." 

At which that dark-eyed stranger stood elate 

And said, in a new voice, but sweet as love. 

To Endymion's amaze : ** By Cupid's dove. 

And so thou shalt 1 and by the lily truth 

Of my own breast thou shalt, beloved youth ! " 990 

And as she spake, into her face there came 

Light, as refleaed from a silver flame : 

Her long black hair swell'd ampler, in display 

Full golden ; in her eyes a brighter day 

Dawn'd blue and full of love. Ay, he beheld 

Phcebe, his passion 1 joyous she upheld 

Her lucid bow, continuing thus : ** Drear, drear 

Has our delaying been ; but foolish fear 

Withheld me first ; and then decrees of fate ; 

And then 'twas fit that from this mortal state looo 

Thou shouldst, my love, by some unlook'd for change 

Be spiritualized. Peona, we shall range 

These forests, and to thee they safe shall be 

As was thy cradle ; hither shalt thou flee 

To meet us many a time." Next Cynthia bright 

Peona kiss'd, and bless'd with fair good night : 

Her brother kiss'd her too, and knelt adown 

Before his goddess, in a blissful swoon. 

She gave her fair hands to him, and behold. 

Before three swiftest kisses he had told, 10 10 

They vanish'd far away I — Peona went 

Home through the gloomy wood in wonderment. 

N 



THE VOLUME OF 1820 



LAMIA 

PART I 

UPON a time, before the faery broods 
Drove Nymph and Satyr from the prosperous woods, 
Before King Oberon's bright diadem, 
Sceptre, and mantle, dasp'd with dewy gem, 
Frighted away the Dryads and the Fauns 
From rushes greeny and brakes, and cowslipM lawns, 
The ever-smitten Henxies empty rleft . 
His golden throne, bent warm on amorous theft : 
From high Olympus had he stolen light. 
On this side of Jove*s clouds, to escape the sight lo 

Of his great smnmoner, and made retreat 
Into a forest on the shores of Crete. 
For somewhere in that sacred island dwelt 
A nymph, to whom all hoofed Satyrs knelt ; 
At whose white feet the languid Tritons pourM 
Pearls, while on land they withered and adored. 
Fast by the springs where she to bathe was wont. 
And in those meads where sometime she might haunt. 
Were strewn rich gifb, unknown to any Muse, 
Though Fanc/s casket wercTunlock'd to choose. 20 

Ah, what a world of love was at her feet ! 
So Hermes thought, and a celestial heat 
Burnt from his winged heels to either ear. 
That from a whiteness, as the lily dear, 
Blush'd into roses 'mid his golden hair, 
Fallen in jealous curls about his shoulders bare. 



1 82 THE VOLUME OF 1820 

From vale to vale, from wood to wood, he flew, 

Breathing upon the flowers his passion new> 

And wound with many a river to its head, []^ 

To find where this sweet nymph prepared her secret bed '. 

In vain ; the sweet nymph might nowhere be found, 

And so he rested, on the lonely ground. 

Pensive, and full of painful jealousies 

Of the Wood-Gods, and even the very trees. 

There as he stood, he heard a moumM voice. 

Such as, once heard, in gentle heart destroys 

All pain but pity ; thus the lone voice spake : 

*' When from this wreathed tomb shall I awake ! 

When move in a sweet body fit for life. 

And love, and pleasure, and the ruddy strife 

Of hearts and Ups 1 Ah, miserable me 1 " 

The God, dove-footed, glided silently 

Round bush and tree, soft-brushing in his speed 

The taller grasses and fuU-flowering weed, 

Until he found a palpitating snake. 

Bright and drque-couchant, in a dusky brake. 

She was a gordian shape of day.zling hue, 
Vermilion-spotted, golden, green, and blue ; 
Striped like a zebra, fireckled like a pard, 
E3red like a peacock, and all crimson barr'd ; 
And full of silver moons, that, as she breathed. 
Dissolved, or brighter shone, or interwreathed 
Their lustres with the gloomier tapestries — 
So rainbow-sided, touch'd with miseries. 
She seem'd, at once, some penanced lady elf. 
Some demon's mistress, or the demon's self. 
Upon her crest she wore a wannish fire 
Sprinkled with stars, like Ariadne's tiar : 
Her head was serpent, but ah, bitter-sweet I 
She had a woman's mouth with all its pearis compter ^^ 
And for her eyes : what could such eyes do there 
But weep, and weep, that they were bom so fair? 
As Proserpine still weeps for her Sicilian air. 



LAMIA 183 

Her throat was serpent, but the words she spake 
Gune, as through bubbling honey, for Love's sake, 
And Ham ; while Hermes on his pinions lay, 
Like a stoop'd falcon ere he takes his prey. 

'* Fair Hermes, ciown'd with feathers, fluttering light, 
I had a splendid dream of thee last night : 
I saw thee sitting, on a throne of gold, 70 

Among the Gods, upon Olympus old. 
The only sad one ; for thou didst not hear 
The soft, lute-flnger'd Muses chanting clear. 
Nor even Apollo when he sang alone. 
Deaf to his throbbing throat's long, long melodious moan. 
I dreamt I saw thee, robed in purple flakes. 
Break amorous through the clouds, as morning breaks, 
And, swiftly as a bright Phcebean dart. 
Strike for the Cretan isle ; and here thou art 1 
Too gentle Hermes, hast thou found the maid ? " 80 

Whereat the star (^ Lethe not delay'd 
His rosy eloquence, and thus inquired : 
" Thou smooth-lipp'd serpent, surely high inspired 1 
Thou beauteous wreath, with melancholy eyes. 
Possess whatever bliss thou canst devise, 
Telling me only where my nymph is fled, — 
Where she doth breathe I " '* Bright planet, thou hast said ; " 
Retum'd the snake, " but seal with oaths, fair God 1 " 
•* I swear," said Hermes, ** by my serpent rod. 
And by thine eyes, and by thy starry crown 1 " 90 

Light flew his earnest words, among the blossoms blown. 
Then thus again the brilliance feminine : 
'* Too frail of heart 1 for this lost nymph of thine. 
Free as the air, invisibly, she strays 
About these thomless wilds ; her pleasant days 
She tastes unseen ; unseen her nimble feet 
Leave traces in the grass and flowers sweet ; 
From weary tendrils, and boVd branches green. 
She plucks the fruit unseen, she bathes unseen : 
And by my power is her beauty veil'd 100 



1 84 THE VOLUME OF 1820 

To keep it tinafironted, onassail'd 

By the love-glances of unlovely eyes, 

CX Satyrs, Fauns, and blear'd Silenus' sighs. 

Pale grew her immortality, for woe 

Of all these lovers, and she grieved so 

I took compassion on her, bade her steep 

Her hair in weird syrops, that would keep 

Her loveliness invisible, yet free 

To wander as she loves, in Hberty. 

Thou shalt behold her, Hermes, thou alone, ^^^ 

If thou wilt, as thou swearest, grant my boon ! ** 

Then, once again, the charmed God began 

An oath, and through the serpent's ears it ran 

Warm, tremulous, devout, psalterian. 

Ravish'd, she lifted her Circean head. 

Blushed a live damask, and swift-lisping said, 

" I was a woman, let me have once more 

A woman's shape, and charming as before. ^ 

I love a youth of Corinth — O the bliss ! C^ 

Give me my woman's fonn, and place me where he is ^^ 

Stoop, Hermes, let me breathe upon thy brow. 

And thou shalt see thy sweet nymph even now." 

The God on half-shut feathers sank serene, 

She breathed upon his eyes, and swift was seen 

Of both the guarded nymph near-smiling on the 

It was no dream ; or say a dream it was. 

Real are the dreams of Gods, and smoothly pass 

Their pleasures in a long immortal dream. 

One warm, fiush'd moment, hovering, it might seem 

Dash'd by the wood-n3rmph's beauty, so he bum'd; ^' 

Then, lighting on the printless verdure, tum'd 

To the swoon'd serpent, and with languid arm, 

Delicate, put to proof the lithe Caducean charm. 

So done, upon the n3rmph his eyes he bent 

Full of adoring tears and blandishment. 

And towards her stept : she, like a moon in wane, 

Faded before him, cower'd, nor could restrain 

Her fearful sobs, self-folding like a flower 



LAMIA 185 

That faints into itself at evening hour : 

But the God fostering her chilled hand, 140 

She felt the warmth, her eyelids open'd bland. 

And, like new flowers at morning song of bees, 

Bloom'd, and gave up her honey to the lees. 

Into the green-recessed woods they flew ; 

Nor grew they pale, as mortal lovers do. 

Left to herself, the serpent now began 
To change ; her elfin blood in madness ran, 
Her mouth foam'd, and the grass, therewith besprent, 
Wither'd at dew so sweet and virulent ; 
Her eyes in torture fixM, and anguish drear, 150 

Hot, glazed, and wide, with lid-lashes all sear, 
Flash'd phosphor and sharp sparks, without one cooling tear. 
The colours all inflamed throughout her train. 
She writhed about, convulsed with scarlet pain : 
A deep volcanian yellow took the place 
Of all her milder-mooned body's grace ; 
And, as the lava ravishes the mead. 
Spoilt all her silver mail, and golden brede ; 
Made gloom of all her frecklings, streaks and bars. 
Eclipsed her crescents, and lickM up her stars : 160 

So that, in moments few, she was undrest 
Of all her sapphires, greens, and ameth3rst, 
And rubious-argent : of all these bereft. 
Nothing but pain and ugliness were left. 
Still shone her crown ; that vanished, also she 
Melted and disappear'd as suddenly ; 
And in the air, her new voice luting soft. 
Cried, ** Lycius ! gentle Lycius ! " — Borne aloft 
With the bright mists about the mountains hoar [170 
These words dissolved : Crete's forests heard no more. 

Whither fled Lamia, now a lady bright, 
A full-bom beauty new and exquisite ? 
She fled into that valley they pass o'er 
Who go to Corinth from Cenchreas* shore ; 



i86 THE VOLUME OF 1820 

And rested at the foot of those wild hills. 

The rugged founts of the Penean rills. 

And of that other ridge whose barren back 

Stretches, with all its mist and cloudy rack. 

South-westward to Qeone. There she stood. 

About a young bird's flutter from a wood, i8o 

Fair, on a sloping gieen of mossy tread. 

By a dear pool, wherein she passioned 

To see herself escaped from so sore ills. 

While her robes flaunted with the daflbdils. 

Ah, happy Lydus I — for she was a maid 
More beautiful than ever twisted braid. 
Or sigh'd, or blush'd, or on spring-flower'd lea 
Spread a green kirtle to the minstrelsy : 
A virgin purest lipp'd, yet in the lore 
Of love deep learned to the red heart's core : ^9° 

Not one hour old, yet of sdential brain 
To unperplex bliss from its neighbour pain ; 
Define their pettish limits, and estrange 
Their points of contact, and swift counterchange ; 
Intrigue with the spedous chaos, and dispart 
Its most ambiguous atoms with sure art ; 
As though in Cupid's coU^ she had spent 
Sweet days a lovely graduate, still unshent. 
And kept his rosy terms in idle languishment. 

Why this fair creature chose so furily 200 

By the wayside to linger, we shall see ; 
But first 'tis fit to tell how she could muse 
And dream, when in the serpent prison-house. 
Of all she list, strange or magnificent : 
How, ever, where she will'd, her spirit went ; 
Whether to £unt Elysium, or where 
Down through tress-lifting waves the Nereids hir 
Wind into Thetis' bower by many a pearly stair ; 
Or where God Bacchus drains his cups divine, 
Stretch'd out, at ease, beneath a glutinous pine ; ^^^ 
Or where in Pluto's gardens palatine 



LAMIA 187 

Mtddber's columns gleam in far piazzian line. 

And sometimes into cities she would send 

Her dream, with feast and rioting to blend ; 

And once, while among mortals dreaming thus. 

She saw the young Corinthian Lycius 

Charioting foremost in the envious race, 

Like a young Jove with calm uneager face. 

And fell into a swooning love of him. 

Now on the moth-time of that evening dim 220 

He would remm that way, as well she knew. 

To Corinth from the shore ; for freshly blew 

The eastern soft wind, and his galley now 

Grated the quaystones with her brazen prow 

In port Cenchreas, from Egina isle 

Fresh anchored ; whither he had been awhile 

To sacrifice to Jove, whose temple there 

Waits with high marble doors for blood and incense rare. 

Jove heard his vows, and better'd his desire ; 

For by some freakful chance he made retire 250 

From his companions, and set forth to walk. 

Perhaps grown wearied of their Corinth talk : 

Over the solitary hills he fared. 

Thoughtless at first, but ere eve*s star appear'd 

Hb phantasy was lost, where reason iades^ 

In the calm*d twilight of Platonic shades. 

Lamia beheld him coming, near, more near — 

Qose to her passing, in indifference drear. 

His silent sandals swept the mossy green ; 

So neighboured to him, and yet so unseen, 240 

She stood : he pass'd, shut up in m3rsteries. 

His mind wrapp*d like his mantle, while her eyes 

Followed his steps, and her neck regal white 

Tum'd — syllabling thus : " Ah, Lycius bright, 

And will you leave me on the hills alone ? 

Lycius, look back 1 and be some pity shown." 

He did ; not with cold wonder, fearingly. 

But Orpheus-like at an Eurydice ; 

For so delicious were the words she sung, 



i88 THE VOLUME OF 1820 

It seem'd he had loved them a whole saminer long. iS^ 

And soon his eyes had drunk her beauty up. 

Leaving no drop in the bewildering cup, 

And still the cup was full, — while he, afraid 

Lest she should vanish ere his lip had paid 

Due adoration, thus began to adore ; 

Her soft look growing coy, she saw his chain so sure: 

" Leave thee alone 1 Look back 1 Ah, Goddess, see 

Whether my eyes can ever mm from thee ! 

For pity do not this sad heart belie — 

Even as thou vanishest so I shall die. ^^ 

Stay 1 though a Naiad of the rivers, stay ! 

To thy fisu: wishes will thy streams obey : 

Stay 1 though the greenest woods be thy domain, 

Alone they can drink up the morning rain : 

Though a descended Pleiad, will not one 

Of thine harmonious sisters keep in time 

Thy spheres, and as thy silver proxy shine ? 

So sweetly to these ravish'd ears of mine 

Came thy sweet greeting, that if thou shouldst fade 

Thy memory will waste me to a shade : — ^ 

For pity do not melt 1 "— ** If I should stay," 

Said Lamia, ** here, upon this floor of clay. 

And pain my steps upon these flowers too rough. 

What canst thou say or do of charm enough 

To dull the nice remembrance of my home ? 

Thou canst not ask me with thee here to roam 

Over these hills and vales, where no joy is, — 

Empty of inmiortality and bliss 1 

Thou art a scholar, Lycius, and must know 

That finer spirits cannot breathe below 

In human climes, and live : Alas I poor youth. 

What taste of purer air hast thou to soothe 

My essence ? What serener palaces. 

Where I may all my many senses please. 

And by m3rsterious sleights a hundred thirsts appease ? 

It cannot be — Adieu I *' So said, she rose 

Tiptoe, with white arms spread. He, sick to lose 



LAMIA 189 

The tunorODS promise of her lone complain, 

Swooa'd, munnuiing of love, and pale with pain. 

The cruel lady, withoat any show 290 

Of sorrow for her tender favourite's woe. 

But rather, if her eyes could brighter he. 

With brighter eyes and slow amenity, 

Put her new lips to his, and gave afresh 

Tlie life she had so tangled in her mesh : 

And as he from ooe trance was wakening 

Into another, she began to sing, 

Happy in beauty, life, and love, and everything, 

A song of love, too sweet for earthly lyres, [joo 

While, like held breath, the stars drew in their panting &es. 

And then she whisper'd in such trembling tone, 

As those who, safe together met alone 

For the first time through many anguish'd days. 

Use other speech than looks ; bidding him raise 

His drooping head, and dear his soul of doubt. 

For thiU she was a woman, and without 

Any more subtle fluid in her veins 

Than throbbing blood, and that the self-same pains 

Inhabited her frail-strung heart as his. 

And neit she wooder'd how his eyes could miss }io 

Her &ce so long In Corinth, where, she said. 

She dwelt but half retired, and there had led 

Days happy as the gold coin could invent 

"Wthout the aid of love ; yet in content. 

Till she saw him, as once she pass'd him by. 

Where 'gainst a column he leant thoughtfully 

At Venus' temple porch, 'mid baskets heap'd 

Of amorous herbs and flowers, newly reap'd 

Late on that eve, as 'twas the night before 

The Adonian feast ; whereof she saw no more, J20 

But wept alone those days, for why should she adore ? 

Lydus from death awoke into amaze. 

To see her still, and singing so sweet lays ; 

Then from atnaze into delight he fell 

To hear her whisper woman's lore so well ; 



190 THE VOLUME OF J 820 

And every word she spake enticed him on 

To unperplex*d delist and pleasure known. 

Let the mad poets say whatever they please 

Of the sweets of Fairies, Peris, Goddesses, 

There is not such a treat among them all, 330 

Haunters of cavern, lake, and water&ll. 

As a real woman, lineal indeed 

From Pyrrha's pebbles or old Adam's seed. 

Thus gentle Lamia judged, and judged aright, 

That Lydus could not love in half a fright. 

So threw the goddess off, and won his heart 

More pleasantly by playing woman's part. 

With no more awe than what her beauty gave. 

That, while it smote, still guaranteed to save. 

Lydus to all made eloquent reply, 340 

Marrying to every word a twinbom sigh ; 

And last, pointing to G)rinth, ask*d her sweet. 

If 'twas too far that night for her soft feet. 

The way was short, for Lamia's eagerness 

Made, by a spell, the triple league decrease 

To a few paces ; not at all sumused 

By blinded Lydm, so in her comprised. 

They pass'd Uie dty gates, he knew not how. 

So noiseless, and he never thought to know. 



As men talk in a dream, so Corinth all, 3^^ 

Throughout her palaces imperial. 
And all her populous streets and temples lewd, 
Mutter'd, like tempest in the distance brewed. 
To the wide-spreaded night above her towers. 
Men, women, rich and poor, in the cool homs. 
Shuffled their sandals o'er the pavement white, 
Companion'd or alone ; while many a li^t 
Flared, here and there, from wealthy festivals. 
And threw their moving shadows on the walls, 
Or found them duster'd in the corniced shade 
Of some arch'd temple door, or dusky colonnade. 



LAliUJ 191 

Mnffling hb (ace, of greeting friends in fear, 
Her fingers he press'd hard, as one came near 
With curl'd grey beard, sharp eyes, and smooth bald crown, 
Slow-stepp'd, and robed in philosophic gown : 
Lydus shrank closer, as they met and past, 
Into his mantle, adding wings to haste. 
While hurried Lamia trembled : " Ah," said he, 
" Why do you shudder, love, so ruefully? 
Why does your tender palm dissolve in dew ? " — jjc 
" I'm wearied," said £ur Lamia : " tell me who 
Is that old man ? I cannot bring to mind 
His features : — Lydus I wherefore did you blind 
Younelf from his quick eyes ? " Lydus replied, 
" lis ApoUonius sage, my trusty guide 
And good instructor ; but to-night he seems 
The ghost of folly haunting my sweet dreams." 

While yet he spake they had arrived before 
A piUar'd porch, vinth lofty portal door, 
Where hung a silver lamp, whose phosphor glow ]6( 
Reflected in the slabbed steps below. 
Mild as a star in water ; for so new. 
And so unsullied was the marble hue, 
So through the crystal polish, liquid fine. 
Ban the dark veins, that none but feet divine 
Could e'er have touch'd there. Sounds Eolian 
Breathed from the hinges, as the ample span 
Of the wide doon disclosed a place unknown 
Some time to any, bm those two alone, 
And a few Persan mutes, who that same year j^ 

Were seen about the markets ; none knew where 
They could inhabit ; the most curious 
Were foii'd, who watch'd to trace them to theii house : 
And but the flitter-winged veise must tell. 
For truth's sake, what woe afterwards befell, 
Twould humour many a heart to leave them thiu. 
Shut from the busy world of more incredulous. 



192 7HE VOLUME OF 1820 



PART II 

LOVE in a hut, with water and a crust, 
Is — Love, forgive us 1 — cinders, ashes, dust ; 
Love in a palace is perhaps at last 
More grievous torment than a hermit's fast : — 
That is a doubtful tale from faery land. 
Hard for the non-elect to understand. 
Had Lydus lived to hand his story down, 
He might have given the moral a fresh frown. 
Or dench'd it quite : but too short was their bliss [lo 
To breed distrust and hate, that make the soft voice hiss. 
Besides, there, nightly, with terrific glare, 
Love, jealous grown of so complete a pair, 
Hover'd and buzz*d his wings, with fearful roar, 
Above the lintd of their chamber door. 
And down the passage cast a glow upon the floor. 

For all this came a ruin : side by side 
They were enthroned, in the even tide. 
Upon a couch, near to a curtaining 
Whose airy texture, from a golden string. 
Floated into the room, and let appear ^^ 

Unveil*d the summer heaven, blue and clear, 
Betwixt two marble shafb : — there they reposed, 
Where use had made it sweet, with eyelids closed, 
Saving a tithe which love still open kept. 
That they might see each other while they almost slept ; 
When from the slope side of a suburb hill, 
Deafening the swallow's twitter, came a thrill 
Of trumpets — Lydus started — the sounds fled, 
But left a thought, a buzzing in his head. 



LAMIA i; 

For the first time, since first he hatbour'd in ;i 

That purpk-lined palace of sweet sin, 

HbsfHrit pass'd b^ond its golden bourne 

Into the noisy world almost forswoin. 

The lady, ever watchful, penetrant. 

Saw this with pain, so arguing a want 

Of something more, more than her empery 

Of joys ; and she b^an to moan and sigh 

Because he mused beyond her, knowing well 

That but a moment's thought is passion's passing bell. 

" Why do you sigh, fair creature ? " whisper'd he ; ; 

" Why do you tbinlt ? " returo'd she tenderly : 

" You have deserted me ;— where am I now ? 

Not in your beait while care weighs on your brow : 

No, no, you have dismiss'd me ; and 1 go 

From your breast houseless: ay, it roust be so." 

He answer'd, bending to her open eyes. 

Where he was mirror'd small in paradise, 

' ' My silver planet, both of eve and mom I 

Why will you plead yourself so sad forlorn. 

While I am striving bow to fill my bean 

With deeper crimson, and a double smart ? 

How to entangle, trammel up, and snare 

Your soul in mine and labyrinth you there, 

like the hid scent in an unbudded rose ? 

Ay, a sweet kiss — you see your mighty woes. 

My thoughts 1 shall I unvea them ? Listen then I 

What mortal hath a prize, that other men 

May be confounded and abash'd withal, 

But lets it sometimes pace abroad majestical. 

And triumph, as in thee I should rejoice ( 

Amid the hoarse alann of Corinth's voice. 

Let my foes choke, and roy friends shout afar, 

While through the thronged streets your bridal car 

Wheels round its daiiling spokes."— The lady's cheek 

Trembled ; she nothing said, but, pale and meek, 

Arose and knelt before him, wept a rain 

Of sorrows at his words ; at last with pain 



194 THE VOLUME OF 1820 

Beseeching him, the while his hand she wrong. 

To change his purpose. He thereat was stung, 

Perverse, with stronger fancy to reclaim 70 

Her wild and timid nature to his aim : 

Besides, for all his love, in self despite, 

Against his better self, he took delight 

Luxurious in her sorrows, soft and new. 

His passion, cruel grown, took on a hue 

Fierce and sanguineous as 'twas possible 

In one whose brow had no dark veins to swell. 

Fine was the mitigated fury, like 

Apollo's presence when in act to strike 

The serpent — Ha, the serpent ! certes, she 80 

Was none. She burnt, she loved the tyranny. 

And, all subdued, consented to the hour 

When to the bridal he should lead his paramour. 

Whispering in midnight silence, said the youth, 

** Sure some sweet name thou hast, though, by my tnitb, 

I have not askM it, ever thinking thee 

Not mortal, but of heavenly progeny. 

As still I do. Hast any mortal name. 

Fit appellation for this dazzling frame ? 

Or fHends or kinsfolk on the citied earth, 9^ 

To share our marriage feast and nuptial mirth ? '* 

*' I have no friends," said Lamia, *' no, not one ; 

My presence in wide Corinth hardly known : 

My parents' bones are in their dusty urns 

Sepulchred, where no kindled incense bums. 

Seeing all their luckless race are dead, save me. 

And I neglect the holy rite for thee. 

Even as you list invite your many guests ; 

But if, as now it seems, your vision rests 

With any pleasure on me, do not bid 100 

Old Apollonius — from him keep me hid." 

Lycius, perplex'd at words so blind and blank, 

Made close inquiry ; from whose touch she shrank, 

Feigning a sleep ; and he to the dull shade 

Of deep sleep in a moment was betra/d. 



' 



LAMIA 195 

It wu the ciutom then to bring away 
Ttie bride from home at blushing shut of day, 
Veil'd, in a chariot, heralded along 
By strewn flowers, torches, and a tnarriagc song. 
With other pageants : but this lair unknown no 

Had not a liiend. So being left alone, 
(Lydus was gone to summon all his kin) 
And knowng surely she could never win 
His foolisb heart firom its mad pompousaess. 
She set herself, high-thoughted, how to dress 
The misery in fit magnificence. 
She did so, but 'tis doubtfiil bow and whence 
Came, and who were her subtle servitors. 
About the halls, and to and from the doors. 
There was a noise of wings, till in short space 130 

The glowing banquet-room shone with wide-arched grace. 
A haunting music, sole perhaps and lone 
Supportress of the faery-roof, made moan 
lliroughout, as fearful the whole charm might fade. 
Fresh carved cedar, mimicking a glade 
Of palm and plantain, met from either side, 
High in the midst, m honour of the bride : 
Two palms and then two plantains, and so on, 
From either ude their stems branch'd one to one 
All down the aisled place ; and beneath all I jo 

Hiere ran a stream of lamps straight on from wall to wall. 
So canopied, lay an untasted feast 
Teeming with odours. Lamia, regal diest, 
Silently paced about, and as she went, 
In pale contented sort of discontent, 
Mission'd her viewless servants to enrich 
The fretted splendour of each nook and niche. 
Between the tree-stems, marbled plain at first, 
Came jasper panels ; then, anon, there burst 
Forth creeping imagery of slighter trees, 140 

And mtb the larger wove in small intricacies. 
Approving all, she faded at self-will. 
And shut the chamber up, dose, hush'd and Still, 
o a 



196 THE VOLUME OF 1820 

G)mplete and ready for the revels rude, 

When dreadful guests would come to spoil her solitude. 

The day appear'd, and all the gossip rout. 
O senseless Lycius 1 Madman 1 wherefore flout 
The silent-blessing fate, warm doister*d hours, 
And show to common eyes these secret bowers? 
The herd approach*d ; each guest, with busy brain, i^o 
Arriving at the portal, gazed amain. 
And enter*d marvelling : for they knew the street, 
Remember'd it from childhood all complete 
Without a gap, yet ne'er before had seen 
That royal porch, that high-built fair demesne ; 
So in they hurried all, mazed, curious and keen ; 
Save one, who lookM thereon with eye severe. 
And with calm-planted steps walk*d in austere ; 
'Twas Apollonius : something too he laugh*d. 
As though some knotty problem, that had daft i6o 

His patient thought, had now begun to thaw. 
And solve and melt : — 'twas just as he foresaw. 

He met within the murmurous vestibule 
His yotmg disciple. '* 'Us no common rule, 
Lycius," said he, ''for uninvited guest 
To force himself upon you, and infest 
With an unbidden presence the bright throng 
Of younger friends ; yet must I do this wrong. 
And you forgive me." Lycius blush'd, and led 
The old man through the inner doors broad-spread ; 170 
With reconciling words and courteous mien 
Turning into sweet milk the sophist's spleen. 

Of wealthy lustre was the banquet-room, 
Fill'd with pervading brilliance and perfume : 
Before each lucid panel fuming stood 
A censer fed with myrrh and spiced wood. 
Each by a sacred tripod held aloft. 
Whose slender feet wide-swerved upon the soft 



LAMIA 197 

Wool-woofed carpets : fiAy wreaths of smoke 

From fiity censers their light voyage took 180 

To the high roof, still mimick'd as they rose 

Along the mirror' d walls by twin-douds odorous. 

Twelve sphered tables, by silk seats insphered, 

High as the level of a man's breast rear'd 

On libbard's paws, upheld the heavy gold 

Of cups and goblets, and the store thrice told 

Of Ceres' horn, and, in huge vessels, wine 

Come from the gloomy tun with merry shine. 

Thus loaded with a feast the tables stood, 

Each shiining in the midst the image of a God. 190 

When in an antechamber every guest 
Had felt the cold full sponge to pleasure press'd. 
By minist'ring slaves, upon his hands and feet. 
And fragrant oils with ceremony meet 
Four'd on his hair, they all moved to the feast 
In white robes, and themselves in order placed 
Around the silken couches, wondering 
Whence all this mighty cost and blaie of wealth could spring. 

Soft went the music the soft air along, 
While fluent Greek a vowell'd undersong 300 

Kept up among the guests, discoursing low 
At first, for scarcely was die wine at flow ; 
But when the happy vintage touch'd their brains, 
Louder they talk, and louder come the strains 
Of powerful instruments : — the gorgeous dyes, 
The space, the splendour of the draperies. 
Hie roof of awful richness, nectarous cheer, 
Beautiful slaves, and Lamia's self, appear, 
Now, when the wine has done its rosy deed. 
And every soul from human trammels Greed, 110 

No more so strange ; for merry wine, sweet wine. 
Will make Elydan shades not too fair, too divine. 
Soon was God Bacchus at meridian height ; 
Flush'd were their cheeks, and bright eyes double bright : 



198 THE VOLUME OF 1820 

Garlands of every green and every scent 

From vales deflower*d, or forest-trees branch-rent, 

In baskets of bright osier'd gold were brought. 

High as the handles heap*d, to suit the thought 

Of every guest ; that each, as he did please. 

Might fancy-fit his brows, silk-pillow*d at his ease. 230 

What wreath for Lamia ? What for Lydus ? 
What for the sage, old Apollonius ? 
Upon her aching forehead be there hung 
The leaves of willow and of adder's tongue ; 
And for the youth, quick, let us strip for him 
The thyrsus, that his watching eyes may swim 
Into forgetfulness ; and, for the sage. 
Let spear-grass and the spiteful thistle wage 
War on his temples. Do not all charms fly 
At the mere touch bf cold philosophy ? 230 

There was an awfiil rainbow once in heaven : 
We know her woof, her texture ; she is given 
In the dull catalogue of common things. 
Philosophy will clip an Angel's wings, 
G)nquer all mjrsteries by rule and line. 
Empty the haunted air, and gnomed mine — 
Unweave a rainbow, as it erewhile made 
The tender-person'd Lamia melt into a shade. 

By her glad Lycius sitting, in chief place. 
Scarce saw in all the room another face, 240 

Till, checking his love trance, a cup he took 
Full brinmi'd, and opposite sent forth a look 
'Cross the broad table, to beseech a glance 
From his old teacher's wrinkled countenance, 
And pledge him. The bald-head philosopher 
Had fix'd his eye, without a twinkle or stir, 
Full on the alarmed beauty of the bride. 
Brow-beating her fair form, and troubling her sweet pride. 
Lycius then press'd her hand, with devout touch. 
As pale it lay upon the rosy couch : 250 



LAMIA 199 

Twas icy, and the cold ran through his veins ; 

Then sudden it grew hat, and all the pains 

Of an unnatural heat shot to hb heart. 

■■ Lamia, what means thb ? Wherefore dost thou start ? 

Know'st thou that man ? " Poor Lamia answer'd not. 

He gazed into her eyes, and not a jot 

Own'd they the lovelorn piteous appeal : 

Mote, more be gazed : his human senses teel : 

Some hungry spell that loveliness absorbs ; 

There was no recognition in those orbs. 260 

" Lamia 1 " he cried — and no soft-toned reply. 

The many beard, and the loud revelry 

Grew bush -, the stately music no more breathes ; 

The myrtle sicken'd in a thousand wreaths. 

By &int degrees, voice, lute, and pleasure ceased ; 

A deadly siletice step by step increased, 

Until it seem'd a horrid presence there. 

And not a man but felt the terror in his hair. 

" Lamia I " he shriek'd ; and nothing but the shriek 

VTith its sad echo did the silence break. 270 

" B^one, foui dream I " he cried, gazing again 

In the bride's face, where now no azure vein 

Wandcr'd on fair-spaced temples ; no soft bloom 

Misted the cheek ; no passion to illume 

The deep-recessed vision : — all was blight ; 

Lamia, no longer fair, there sat a deadly white. 

" Shut, shut those juggling eyes, thou ruthless man I 

Turn them aside, wretch I or the righteous ban 

Of all the Gods, whose dreadful images 

Here represent their shadowy presences, 180 

May pierce them on the sudden with the thorn 

Of painful blindness ; leaving thee forlorn. 

In trembling dotage to the feeblest fright 

Of conscience, for their long oflended nught. 

For all thine impious proud-hean sophistries. 

Unlawful magic, and enticing lies. 

Corinthians 1 look upon that gray-beard wretch I 

Mark how, possess'd, his lashless eyelids stretch 



2O0 THE VOLUME OF 1820 

Axxmnd his demon c^ ! Cormtfaians, see ! 
My su-eet bride withers at their potency." 290 

** Fool ! " said the sophist, in an und^-tone 
Gruff with contempt ; which a death-nighing moan 
From Lydus answer'd, as heart-struck and lost. 
He sank supine beside the aching ghost. 
'* Fool ! Fool I " repeated he, while his eyes still 
Relented not, nor moved ; •' from every ill 
Of life have I preserved thee to this day. 
And shall I see thee made a serpent's prey ? " 
Then Lamia breathed death breath ; the sophist's eye. 
Like a sharp spear, went through her utterly, 300 

Keen, cruel, perceant, stinging : she, as wdl 
As her weak hand could any meaning tell, 
Motion'd him to be silent ; vainly so. 
He look'd and looked again a level — ^No I 
'* A Serpent I " echoed he ; no sooner said, 
Than with a frightful scream she vanished : 
And Lydus' arms were empty of delight. 
As were his limbs of life, from that same night. 
On the high couch he lay ! — his friends came round- 
Supported him — no pulse, or breath they found, 310 
And, in its marriage robe, the heavy body wound.* 



• " Pbihstratus, in bis fourth book de Vita Apollonii, batb a mtmoM 
instan^t in this hind, which I may not omit, of one Mtnippus Lycius, a yoi^H 
man twenty-five years of age, that going betwtxt Cencbreas ana Coritith, f^ 
such a phantasm in the bahit of a fair gentlewoman, which taking him hi ^^ 
hand, carried him home to her house, in the suburbs of Corinth, and told ^ 
she was a Phoenician by birth, and if he would tarry with her, be should bear ^ 
sing and play, and drink such wine as never any drank, and no man should nt^} 
him ; but she, bein^ fair and lovely, would live and die vnth bim^ that was W 
and lovely to behold. The young man, a philosopher, otherwise staid and discf^* 
able to moderate bis passions, tbmgh not this of love, tarried with her awbi^r^ 
bis great content, and at last married her, to whose wedding, amongst ^^rL 
guests, came Apollonius ; who, by some probable conjectures, found her o^^ai 
he a serpent, a lamia ; and that all her furniture was, like Tantalus^ ^z!a{ 
descrihea by Homer, no substance, but mere illusions. When she saw Ar^^ 
descried, she wept, and desired Apollonius to be silent, but he would nty^ ^ 
moved, and thereupon she, plate, bouse, and all that was in it, vanished *'^^i ( 
instant : many thousands took notice of this fact, for it was done in the mi^^ j 
Greece.'* — Burton's Anatomy of Meknchofy, Part ), Sect 2, Memh. I. Sut^-^' 




ISABELLA ; OR, THE POT OF BASIL 

A STORY FROM BOCCACCIO 
I. 

FAIR Isabel, poor simple Isabel 1 
Lorenzo, a young palmer in Love's eye I 
They could not in the sdf-same mansion dwell 

Without some stir of heart, some malady ; 
They could not sit at meals but feel how well 

It soothed each to be the other by ; 
They could not, sure, beneath the same roof sleep 
But to each other dream, and nightly weep. 

n. 
With every mom their love grew tenderer. 

With every eve deeper and tenderer still ; 
He might not in house, field, or garden stir. 

But her full shape would all his seeing fill ; 
And his continual voice was pleasanter 

To her, than noise of trees or hidden rill ; 
Her lute-string gave an echo of his name, 
She spoilt her half-done broidery with the same. 

m. 
He knew whose gentle hand was at the latch, 

Before the door had given her to his eyes ; 
And from her chamber-window he would catch 

Her beauty farther than the falcon spies ; 



202 THE VOLUME OF 1820 

And constant as her vespers would he watch, 

Because her face was tumM to the same sides ; 
And with sick longing all the night outwear. 
To hear her morning-step upon the stair. 

IV. 

A whole long month of May in this sad plight 
Made their cheeks paler by the break of June : 

** To-morrow will I bow to my delight, 
To-morrow will I ask my lady's boon." — 

** O may I never see another night, 
Lorenzo, if thy lips breathe not love's tune."— 

So spake they to their pillows ; but, alas, 

Honeyless days and dajrs did he let pass ; 

V. 

Until sweet Isabella's untouch'd cheek 
Fell sick within the rose's just domain, 

Fell thin as a young mother's, who doth seek 
By every lull to cool her infant's pain : 

*' Hqw ill she is," said he, '* I may not speak. 
And yet I will, and tell my love aU plain : 

If looks speak love-laws, I Wl drink her tears. 

And at the least 'twill startle off her cares." 

VI. 

So said he one fair morning, and aU day 
His heart beat awfully against his side ; 

And to his heart he inwardly did pray 
For power to speak ; but still the ruddy tide 

Stifled his voice, and pulsed resolve away — 
Fever'd his high conceit of such a bride. 

Yet brought him to the meekness of a child : 

Alas 1 when passion is both meek and wild I 

vn. 

So once more he had waked and anguished 
A dreary night of love and misery, 



ISABELLA 

If Isabel's quick eye had not been wed 
To every symbol on his forehead high ; 

She saw it waxing very pale and dead. 

And straight all flush'd ; so, lisped tenderly, 

" Lorenzo t "—here she ceased her timid quest, 

But in her tone and look be read the rest. 



vni. 
" O Isabella, I can half perceive 

That 1 may spcali my grief into thine ear ; 
If thou didst ever anything bclic\-c. 

Believe how 1 love thee, btlk've how near 
My soul is [o its doom : I uoulJ not grieve 

Thy hand by unwelcome pressing, would not fear 
Thine eyes by gazing ; but I c:moot live 
Another night, and not my passion shrive. 



" Love I thou art leading me from wintry cold. 
Lady I thou Icadest me to summer dime, 

And 1 must tasli.- th^ . i ■ .... iunld 

In its ripe waniiih iln^ ^rji.iuus iiioniiog lime.' 

So said, liis erewhilc timid lips grew bold, 
And pocsied with hers in dewy rhyme : 

Great bliss was with them, and great hapjHuess 

Grew, like a lusty flower in June's caress. 



Parting they seem'd to tread upon the air. 
Twin roses by the lephyr Mown apart 

Only to meet again more dose, and share 
llie inward fragrance of each other's heart. 

She, to her chamber gone, a ditty fair 
Sang, of delicious love and honey'd dart ; 

He with light steps viient up a western hill. 

And bade the sun farewell, and jo/d his fill. 



204 THE VOLUME OF 1820 

XI. 

All close they met again, before the dusk 
Had uken from the stars its pleasant veil, 

All close they met, all eves, before the dusk 
Had taken from the stars its pleasant veil, 

Qose in a bower of hyacinth and musk. 
Unknown of any, free from whispering tale. 

Ah ! better had it been for ever so, 

Than idle ears should pleasure in their woe. 

xn 

Were they unhappy then ? — It cannot be — 
Too many tears for lovers have been shed, 

Too many sighs give we to them in fee, 
Too much of pity after they are dead, 

Too many doleful stories do we see, 
Whose matter in bright gold were best be read ; 

Except in such a page where Theseus' spouse 

Over the pathless waves towards him bows. 

xm. 
But, for the general award of love, 

The little sweet doth kill much bitterness ; 
Though Dido silent is in under-grove, 

And Isabella's was a great distress. 
Though young Lorenzo in warm Indian clove 

Was not embalm'd, this truth is not the less- 
Even bees, the little almsmen of spring-bowers. 
Know there is richest juice in poison-flowers. 

XIV. 

With her two brothers this fair lady dwelt. 
Enriched from ancestral merchandize. 

And for them many a weary hand did swelt 
In torched mines and noisy factories, 

And many once proud-quiver'd loins did melt 
In blood from stinging whip ; — with hollow eyes 



ISABELLA ao5 

Many all day in dazzling river stood, 

To take the rich-ored driftings of the flood. 

XV. 

For them the Ceylon diver held hb breath, 
And went all naked to the hungry shark ; 

For them his ears gush'd blood ; for them in death 
The seal on the cold ice with piteous bark 

Lay full of darts ; for them alone did seethe 
A thousand men in troubles wide and dark : 

Half-ignorant, they tum'd an easy wheel. 

That set sharp racks at work, to pinch and peel. 

XVI. 

Why were they proud ? Because their marble founts 
Gush*d with more pride than do a wretch's tears ? — 

Why were they proud ? Because fair orange-mounts 
Were of more soft ascent than lazar stairs ? — 

Why were they proud ? Because red-lined accounts 
Were richer than the songs of Grecian years ? — 

Why were they proud ? again we ask aloud, 

Why in the name of Glory were they proud ? 

xvn. 

Yet were these Florentines as self-retired 

In hungry pride and gainful cowardice. 
As two close Hebrews in that land inspired. 

Paled in and vineyarded from beggar-spies ; 
The hawks of ship-mast forests — the untired 

And pannier'd mules for ducats and old lies — 
Qpick cat's-paws on the generous stray-away, — 
Great wits in Spanish, Tuscan, and Malay, 

xvm. 
How was it these same ledger-men could spy 

Fair Isabella in her downy nest? 
How could they find out in Lorenzo's eye 

A straying from his toil ? Hot Egypt's pest 



2o6 THE VOLUME OF 1820 

Into tfadr visiofi covetous and sly ! 

How could these money-bags see east and west ?— 
Yet so Acy did — and every dealer fair 
Most see behind, as doth the hunted hare. 

XIX. 

O doqoent and famed Boccaccio 1 
Of thee we now should ask forgiving boon, 

And of thy spicy myrtles as they blow. 
And of thy roses amorous of the moon, 

And of thy lilies, that do paler grow 
Now they can no more hear thy g^ttem's tune. 

For venturing syllables that ill beseem 

The quiet glooms of such a piteous theme. 

XX. 

Grant thou a pardon here, and then the tale 
Shall move on soberly, as it is meet ; 

There is no other crime, no mad assail 
To make old prose in modem rhyme more sweet : 

But it is done — succeed the verse or fail — 
To honour thee, and thy gone spirit greet ; 

To stead thee as a verse in English tongue, 

An echo of thee in the north-wind sung. 

XXI. 

These brethren having found by many signs 
What love Lorenzo for their sister had. 

And how she loved him too, each unconfines 
His bitter thoughts to other, well nigh mad 

That he, the servant of their trade designs. 
Should in their sister's love be blithe and glad. 

When 'twas their plan to coax her by degrees 

To some high noble and his olive-trees. 

xxn. 
And many a jealous conference had they, 
And many times they bit their lips alone, 



ISABELLA 

Before tbey fix'd upon a surest way 
To make the youngster for his crime atone ; 

And at the last, these men of cruel clay 
Cut Mercy with a sharp knife to the bone ; 

For they resolved in some forest dim 

To kill Loretuo, and there bury him. 



Soo 

In 
Of the garden-terrace, towards him they bent 

Their footing through the dews ; and to him said, 
" You seem there in ihe quiet of content, 

Lorenzo, and we are most loth to invade 
Calm speculation ; but if you are wise. 
Bestride your steed while cold is in the skies. 



" To-day we purpose, ay, this hour we mount 
To spur three leagues towards the Apennine ; 

Come down, we pray thee, ere the hot sua count 
His dewy rosary on the eglantine." 

Lorenzo, courteously as he was wont, 

BoVd a fair greeting to these serpents' whiite ; 

And went in haste, to get in readiness, 

With belt, and spur, and bracing huntsman's dress. 



And as he to the court-yard pass'd along. 
Each third step did he pause, and listen'd oft 

If he could hear his lady's matin-song, 
Or the hght whisper of her footstep soft ; 

And as he thus over his passion hung. 
He heard a laugh full musical aloft ; 

When, looking up, he saw her features bright 

Smile through an in-door lattice, all delight. 



2o8 THE VOLUME OF 1820 

XXVI. 

'* Love, Isabel 1 " said he, ** I was in pain 

Lest I should miss to bid thee a good morrow : 
Ah 1 what if I should lose thee, when so £ain 

I am to stifle all the heavy sorrow 
Of a poor three hours* absence ? but we'll gain 

Out of the amorous dark what day doth borrow. 
Goodbye! FUsoonbeback."— "Goodbyel^'saidshci- 
And as he went she chanted merrily. 

xxvn. 

So the two brothers and their murderM man 
Rode past fair Florence, to where Amo's stream 

Gurgles through straitenM banks, and still doth hn 
Itself with dancing bulrush, and the bream 

Keeps head against the freshets. Sick and wan 
Tlie brothers' faces in the ford did seem, 

Lorenzo's flush with love. — They pass'd the water 

Into a forest quiet for the slaughter. 

xxvm. 
There was Lorenzo slain and buried in, 

There in that forest did his great love cease ; 
Ah 1 when a soul doth thus its freedom win, 

It aches in loneliness — is ill at peace 
As the break-covert blood-hounds of such sin : 

They dipp'd their swords in the water, and did tease 
Their horses homeward, with convulsed spur, 
Each richer by his being a murderer. 

XXIX. 

They told their sister how, with sudden speed, 
Lorenzo had ta*en ship for foreign lands. 

Because of some great urgency and need 
In their aflairs, requiring trusty hands. 

Poor Girl 1 put on thy stifling widow's wted. 
And 'scape at once from Hope's accursed bands ; 



To-day ihou wit not see him, nor to-moirow, 
And the next day will be a day of sorrow. 



She weeps alone for pleasures not to be ; 

Sorely she wept until the night came on, 
And then, instead of love, O misery 1 

She brooded o'er the luxury alone : 
His imige in the dusk she seem'd to see, 

And to the silence made a gentle moan. 
Spreading her perfect arms upon the air. 
And on hercouch low munnuriiag "Where? O where?" 



But Selfishness, Love's cousin, belil not long 
Its fiery vigil in her Mngle breast ; 

She fretted for the golden hour, and hung 
Upon ihe time with feverish unrest — 

Not long — for soon into her heart a throng 
Of higher occupants, a richer zest, 

Came tragic ; passion not to be subdued, 

And sorrow for her love in travels rude. 



Id the mid days of autumn, on their eves 
The breath of Winter comes from far away. 

And the sick west continually bereaves 
Of some gold tinge, and plays a roundelay 

Of death among the bushes and the leaves, 
To make all bare before he dares to stray 

From his north cavern. So sweet Isabel 

By gradual decay from beauty fell. 



Because Loremo came not. Oftentimes 
She ask'd her brothers, with an eye all pale. 

Striving to be itself, what dungeon dimes 
Could keep him off so long ? They spake a tale 



210 THE VOLUME OF 1820 

lime after time, to quiet her. Their crimes 

Came on them, like a smoke from Humom's vale ; 
And every night in dreams they groan'd aloud, 
To see their sister in her snowy shroud. 

XXXIV. 

And she had died in drowsy ignorance, 
But for a thing more deadly dark than all ; 

It came like a fierce potion, drunk by chance, 
Which saves a sick man from the feather'd pall 

For some few gasping moments ; like a lance. 
Waking an Indian from his cloudy hall 

With cruel pierce, and bringing him again 

Sense of the gnawing fire at heart and brain. 

XXXV. 

It was a vision. — In the drowsy gloom, 
The dull of midnight, at her couch's foot 

Lorenzo stood, and wept : the forest tomb 
Had marrM his glossy hair which once could shoot 

Lustre into the sun, and put cold doom 
Upon his lips, and taken the soft lute 

From his lorn voice, and past his loamed ears 

Had made a miry channel for his tears. 

XXXVI. 

Strange sound it was, when the pale shadow spake ; 

For there was striving, in its piteous tongue. 
To speak as when on earth it was awake» 

And Isabella on its music hung : 
Languor there was in it, and tremulous shake, 

As in a pabied Druid's harp unstrung ; 
And through it moan'd a ghostly under-song. 
Like hoarse night-gusts sepulchral briars among. 

xxxvn. 

Its eyes, though wild, were still all dewy bright 
With love, and kept all phantom fear aloof 



ISABELLA 

From the poor girl by magic of their light. 
The while it did unthread the horrid woof 

Of the late darken'd time,— the murderous spite 
Of pride and avarice,— the dark pine roof 

In the forest,— and the sodden tuifed dell, 

Where, without any word, from stabs he fell. 



Saying moreover, " Isabel, my sweet 1 
Red whortle-benies droop above my head. 

And a large flint-stone weighs upon my feet ; 
Around me beeches and high chesmuls shed 

Their leaves and prickly nuts ; a sheep-fold bleat 
Comes from b^ond the river to my bed : 

Go, shed one tear upon my heather-bloom. 

And it shall comfort me within the tomb. 



" I am a shadow now, alas I alas I 
Upon the skirts of human-nature dwelling 

Alone : I chant alone the holy mass. 
While little sounds of life are round me knelling, 

And glossy bees at noon do fieldward pass, 
And many a chapel bell the hour is telling, 

Paining me through ; those sounds grow strange to n: 

And thou art distant in Humanity. 



" I know what was, I feel full well what b, 
And I should rage, if spirits could go mad ; 

Thoii}.:li i !.'r_>ithe taste of earthly bliss, 
Th.it p.'.kTK-s warms my grave, as though 1 had 

A Seraph diosoi from the l^ght abyss 
To be my spouse : thy paleness makes me glad ; 

Thy beauty grows upon roe, and I feel 

A greater love through all my essence steal." 



212 THE VOLUME OF 1820 

xu. 

The Spirit moam'd " Adica ! *" — dissolved, aod kft 
The atom darimess in a slow turmoil ; 

As when of healthful midnight sleep bereft. 
Thinking on rugged hours and fruitless toO, 

We put our eyes into a pillowy deft. 

And see the spangly gloom ftoth op and bdl : 

It made sad Isabella's eyelids ache. 

And in the dawn she started op awake ; 

XLH. 

**Ha! hal'* said she, '< I knew not this hard life, 
I thought the worst was simple misery ; 

I thought some Fate with pleasure or with strife 
Portioned us — happy days, or else to die ; 

But there is crime — a brother's bloody knife ! 
Sweet Spirit, thou hast schooled my infancy : 

I'll visit thee for this, and kiss thine eyes. 

And greet thee mom and even in the skies." 

XLin. 

When the full morning came, she had devised 
How she might secret to the forest hie ; 

How she might find the cby, so deariy prized, 
And sing to it one btest lullaby ; 

How her short absence might be unsurmised, 
While she the inmost of the dream would try. 

Resolved, she took with her an aged nurse, 

And went into that dismal forest-hearse. 

XLIV. 

See, as they creep along the river side, 
How she doth whisper to that aged Dame, 

And, after looking round the champaign wide, 
Shows her a knife. — ** What feverous hectic flame 

Bums in thee, child ? — What good can thee betide, 
That thou shouldst smile again ? " — The evening cafl>^' 



ISABELLA 213 

And they had found Lorenzo's earthy bed ; 
The flint was there, the berries at his head. 

XLV. 

Who hath not loitered in a green church-yard, 

And let his spirit, like a demon-mole. 
Work through the clayey soil and gravel hard. 

To see skull, co£fin*d bones, and funeral stole ; 
Pit3ring each form that hungry Death hath marr'd, 

And filling it once more with human soul ? 
Ah 1 this is holiday to what was felt 
When Isabella by Lorenzo knelt, 

XLVI. 

She gazed into the fresh-thrown mould, as though 
One glance did fully all its secrets tell ; 

Qearly she saw, as other eyes would know 
Pale limbs at bottom of a crystal well ; 

Upon the murderous spot she seem'd to grow, 
Like to a native lily of the dell : 

Then with her knife, all sudden, she began 

To dig more fervently than misers can. 

XLvn. 

Soon she tum'd up a soiled glove, whereon 
Her silk had play'd in purple phantasies ; 

She kissM it with a lip more chill than stone. 
And put it in her bosom, where it dries 

And freezes utterly unto the bone 
Those dainties made to still an infant's cries : 

Then *gan she work again ; nor sta/d her care. 

But to throw back at times her veiling hair. 

XLvm. 

That old nurse stood beside her wondering. 

Until her heart felt pity to the core 
At sight of such a dismal labouring. 

And so she kneeled, with her locks all hoar. 



214 THE VOLUME OF 1820 

And put her lean hands to the horrid thing : 

Three hours they bbour'd at this travail sore ; 
At last they felt the kernel of the grave, 
And Isabella did not stamp and rave. 

XLIX. 

Ah ! wherefore all this wormy circumstance ? 

Why linger at the yawning tomb so long? 
O for the gentleness of old Romance, 

The simple plaining of a minstrel's song ! 
Fair reader, at the old tale take a glance. 

For here, in truth, it doth not well belong 
To speak : — O turn thee to the very tale. 
And taste the music of that vision pale. 

L. 

With duller steel than the Persian sword 
They cut away no formless monster's head. 

But one, whose gentleness did well accord 
With death, as life. The ancient harps have said, 

Lx)ve never dies, but lives, immortal Lord : 
If Love impersonate was ever dead. 

Pale Isabella kiss*d^it, -and low moan'd. 

'Twas love ; cold, — dead indeed, but not dethroned. 

u. 

In amdous secrecy they took it home. 
And then the prize was all for Isabel : 

She calmed its wild hair with a golden comb, 
And all around each eye's sepuldiral cell 

Pointed each fringed lash ; the smeared loam 
With tears, as chilly as a dripping well, 

She drench'd away : — and still she comb'd, and kept 

Sighing all day — and still she kiss'd, and wept. 

Ln. 

Then in a silken scarf, — sweet with the dews 
Of precious flowers pluck'd in Araby, 



ISABELLA 

Aod divine liquids come with odorous ooze 
Through the cold serpent-[ripe refreshfuUy, — 

She wrapp'd it up ; and for its tomb did choose 
A garden-pot, wherein she laid it by, 

And cover'd it with mould, and o'er it set 

Sweet Basil, which her tears kept ever wet. 



Aiul she fbi^ot the stars, the moon, and sun. 

And she forgot the blue above the trees. 
And she foi^ot the dells where waters run. 

And she forgot the chilly autumn breeie ; 
She had no knowledge when the day was done, 

And the new mom she saw not : but in peace 
Hung over her sweet Basil evermore, 
And rooisten'd it with tears unto the core. 



And so she ever fed it with thin tears. 

Whence thick, and green, and beautifiil it grew. 

So that it smelt more balmy than its peers 
Of Basil-tufts in Florence ; for it drew 

Nurture besides, and life, from human fears, 
From the &st mouldering head there sbutfromvie 

So that the jewel, safely casbeted. 

Came forth, and in perfumed leafits spread. 



O Melancholy, linger here awhile I 
O Music, Music, breathe desponding^ I 

O Echo, Echo, from some sombre isle. 
Unknown, Lethean, sigh to OS — O sigh I 

Spirits in grief, lift up your heads, and smile ; 
Lift up your heads, sweet Spirits, heavily, 

And make a pale hght in your cypress glooms. 

Tinting with silver wan youi marble tombs. 



2i6 THE VOLUME OF 1820 

LVI. 

Moan hither, all ye syllables of woe, 
From the deep throat of sad Melpomene 1 

Through bronzed lyre in tragic order go, 
And touch the strings into a mystery ; 

Sound mournfully upon the winds and low ; 
For simple Isabel is soon to be 

Among the dead : She withers, like a palm 

Cut by an Indian for its juicy balm. 

Lvn. 

O leave the palm to wither by itself; 

Let not quick Winter chill its dying hour 1— 
It may not be — those BaMites of pelf, 

Her brethren, noted the continual shower 
From her dead eyes ; and many a curious elf* 

Among her kindred, wonder'd that such dower 
Of youth and beauty should be thrown aside 
By one mark'd out to be a Noble*s bride. 

Lvm. 

And, furthermore, her brethren wonder'd much 
Why she sat drooping by the Basil green, 

And why it fiourish*d, as by magic touch ; 

Greatly they wonder'd what the thing might mean : 

They could not surely give belief, that such 
A very nothing would have power to wean 

Her from her own fair youth, and pleasures gay, 

And even remembrance of her love's delay. 

ux. 

Therefore they watch*d a time when they might sift 
This hidden whim ; and long they watch'd in vain ; 

For seldom did she go to chapel-shrift, 
And seldom felt she any hunger-pain ; 

And when she left, she hurried back, as swift 
As bird on wing to breast its eggs again ; 



And, patient ts a hen-bird, sat her there 
Beude hei Baul, weeping through her hair. 



Yet they contrived to steal the Basilpot, 
And 10 examine it is secret place : 

The thing was vile with green and livid spot. 
And yet ibey knew it was Lorenzo's face : 

The guerdon of their murder they had got, 
And so left Florence in a moment's space. 

Never to turn again. — Away they went. 

With blood upon their heads, to ban 



txi. 
O Melancholy, turn thine eyes away I 

O Music, Music, breathe despondingly I 
D Echo, Echo, on some other day, 

From isles Lethean, sigh to us— O ugh I 
Spirits of grief, sing not your " Well-a-way I " 

For Isabel, sweet Isabel, will die ; 
Will die a death too lone and incomplete. 
Now they have ta'en away her Basil sweet. 



Piteous she look'd on dead and senseless thing*. 
Asking for her lost Basil amorously ; 

And with melodious chuckle in the strings 
Of her lorn voice, she oftentimes would cry 

After the Pilgrim in his wanderings. 
To ask him where her Basil was ; and why 

'Twas hid from her : " For cruel 'tb," said she, 

" To steal my Basil-pot away from me." 



And so she pined, and so she died forlorn. 
Imploring for her Ba^ to the last. 




2l8 



THE VOLUME OF 1820 



No heart was there in Florence but did mourn 

In pity of her love, so overcast. 
And a sad ditty of this story bom 

From mouth to mouth through all the countiy pass'd 
Still is the burthen sung — ** O cruelty, 
To steal my Basil-pot away firom me 1 " 



THE EVE OF ST. AGNES 

I. 

ST. AGNES' Eve— Ah, bitter chiU it was ! 
The owl, for all his feathers, was a-cold ; 
The hare limp'd trembling through the frozen grass, 
And silent was the fiock in woolly fold : 
Numb were the Beadsman's fingers, while he told 
His rosary, and while his frosted breath, 
Like pious incense from a censer old, 
Seem*d taking flight for heaven, without a death, 
Past the sweet Virgin's picture, while his prayer he saithi 

n. 
His prayer he saith, this patient, holy man ; 
Then takes his bmp, and riseth from his knees, 
And back retumeth, meagre, barefoot, wan. 
Along the chapel aisle by slow degrees : 
The sculptured dead, on each side, seem to freeze, 
Emprison'd in black, purgatorial rails : 
Knights, ladies, praying in dumb orat*ries, 
He passeth by ; and his weak spirit fails 
To think how they may ache in icy hoods and mails. 

m. 
Northward he tumeth through a little door. 
And scarce three steps, ere Music's golden tongue 
Flatter'd to tears this aged man and poor ; 
But no— already had his deathbell rung ; 



220 THE VOLUME OF 1820 

The joys of all his life were said and sung : 
His was harsh penance on St. Agnes' Eve : 
Another way he went, and soon among 
Rough ashes sat he for his soul's reprieve, 
And all night kept awake, for sinners' sake to grieve. 

IV. 

That ancient Beadsman heard the prelude soft; 
And so it chanced, for many a door was wide. 
From hurry to and fro. Soon, up aloft, 
The silver, snarling trumpets 'gan to chide : 
The level chambers, ready with their pride. 
Were glowing to receive a thousand guests : 
The carved angels, ever eager-eyed. 
Stared, where upon their heads the cornice rests, 
With hair blown back, and wings put cross-wise on thdr breasts 

V. 

At length burst in the argent revelry, 
With plume, tiara, and all rich array, 

. Numerous as shadows haunting fairily 
The brain new smfTd in youth with triumphs gay 
Of old romance. These let us wish away, 
And turn, sole-thoughted, to one Lady there. 
Whose heart had brooded, all that wintry day. 
On love, and wing'd St. Agnes' saintly care. 

As she had heard old dames full many times declare. 

VI. 

They told her how, upon St. Agnes' Eve, 
Young virgins might have visions of delight, 
And soft adorings from their loves receive 
Upon the hone/d middle of the night. 
If ceremonies due they did aright ; 
As, supperless to bed they must retire, 
And couch supine their beauties, lily white ; 
Nor look behind, nor sideways, but require 
Of Heaven v^ith upward eyes for all that they desire. 



THE EVE OF ST. AGNES 221 

vn. 

Full of this whim was thoughtful Madeline : 
The music, yearning like a God in pain, 
She scarcely heard : her maiden eyes divine, 
Fix'd on the floor, saw many a sweeping train 
Pass by — she heeded not at all : in vain 
Gune many a tiptoe, amorous cavalier, 
And back retired ; not cooPd by high disdain. 
But she saw not : her heart was otherwhere : 
She sigh'd for Agnes' dreams, the sweetest of the year. 

vni. 
She danced along with vague, regardless eyes, 
Anxious her lips, her breathing quick and short : 
The halloVd hour was near at hand : she sighs 
Amid the timbrels, and the throng*d resort 
Of whisperers in anger, or in sport ; 
'Mid looks of love, defiance, hate, and scorn, 
Hoodwink'd with faery fancy ; all amort. 
Save to St. Agnes and her lambs unshorn. 
And all the bliss to be before to-morrow mom. 

7X. 

So, purposing each moment to retire. 
She linger'd still. Meantime, across the moors. 
Had come young Porphyro, with heart on fire 
For Madeline. Beside the portal doors, 
Buttress'd from moonlight, stands he, and implores 
All saints to give him sight of Madeline, 
But for one moment in the tedious hours. 
That he might gaze and worship all unseen ; 
Perchance speak, kneel, touch, kiss — in sooth such things have 
been. 

X. 

He ventures in : let no buzz'd whisper tell : 
All eyes be muffled, or a hundred swords 
Will storm his heart, Love's feverous citadel : 
For him, those chambers held barbarian hordes 



222 THE VOLUME OF 1820 

Hyena foemen, and hot-blooded lords. 
Whose very dogs would exeq-ations howl 
Against his lineage : not one breast affords 
Him any mercy in that mansion foul. 
Save one old beldame, weak in body and in soul. 

XI. 

Ah, happy chance I the aged creature came, 
Shuffling along with ivory-headed wand, 
To where he stood, hid from the torch's flame, 
Behind a broad hall-pillar, far beyond 
The sound of merriment and chorus bland. 
He startled her : but soon she knew his face„ 
And grasp'd his fingers in her palsied hand. 
Saying, ** Mercy, Porphyro I hie thee from this place ; 
They are all here to-night, the whole blood-thirsty race 1 

xn. 

" Get hence I get hence I there's dwarfish Hildebrand ; 
He had a fever late, and in the fit 
He cursed thee and thine, both house and land : 
Then there's that old Lord Maurice, not a whit 
More tame for his grey hairs — Alas me I flit I 
Flit like a ghost away." — ** Ah, Gossip dear. 
We're safe enough ; here in this arm-chair sit, 
And tell me how " — ** Good Saints I not here, not here ; 
Follow me, child, or else these stones will be thy bier." 

xin. 
He follow'd through a lowly arched way, 
Brushing the cobwebs with his lofty plume ; 
And as she mutter'd ** Well-a — well-a-day I " 
He found him in a little moonlight room, 
Pale, latticed, chill, and silent as a tomb. 
** Now tell me where is Madeline," said he, 
** O tell me, Angela, by the holy loom 
Which none but secret sisterhood may see, 
When they St. Agnes' wool are weaving piously." 



THE EVE OF ST. AGNES 223 



XIV. 

*' St. Agnes I Ah I it is St. Agnes' Eve — 
Yet men will murder upon holy days : 
Thou must hold water in a witch's sieve, 
And be liege-lord of ail the Elves and Fays, 
To venture so : it fills me with amaze 
To see thee, Porphyro ! — St. Agnes' Eve I 
God's help 1 my lady fair the conjuror plays 
This very night : good angels her deceive 1 
But let me laugh awhile, I've mickle time to grieve. 



» 



XV. 

Feebly she laugheth in the languid moon. 
While Porphyro upon her face doth look. 
Like puzzled urchin on an aged crone 
Who keepeth dosed a wondrous riddle-book, 
As spectacled she sits in chimney nook. 
But soon his eyes grew brilliant, when she told 
His lady's purpose ; and he scarce could brook 
Tears, at the thought of those enchantments cold. 
And Madeline asleep in lap of legends old. 

XVI. 

Sudden a thought came like a full-blown rose, 
Flushing his brow, and in his pained heart 
Made purple riot : then doth he propose 
A stratagem, that makes the beldame start : 
** A cruel man and impious thou art : 
Sweet lady, let her pray, and sleep, and dream 
Alone with her good angels, far apart 
From wicked men like thee. Go, go ! — I deem 
Thou canst not surely be the same that thou didst seem." 

xvn. 

*' I will not harm her, by all saints I swear," 
Q.uoth Porphyro : *' O may I ne'er find grace 
When my weak voice shall whisper its last prayer, 
If one of her soft ringlets I displace. 



224 THE VOLUME OF 1820 

Or look with rufHan passion in her face : 

Good Angela, believe me by these tears ; 

Or I will, even in a moment's space, 

Awake, with horrid shout, my foemen's ears. 

And beard them, though they be more fang'd than wolves 

and bears." 

xvm. 

•* Ah I why wilt thou affright a feeble soul ? 
A poor, weak, palsy-stricken, churchyard thing. 
Whose passing-bell may ere the midnight toll ; 
Whose prayers for thee, each mom and evening, 
Were never miss'd." — Thus plaining, doth she bring 
A gentler speech from burning Porphyro ; 
So woeful, and of such deep sorrowing, 
That Angela gives promise she will do 
Whatever he shall wish, betide her weal or woe. 

XIX. 

Which was, to lead him, in close secrecy. 
Even to Madeline's chamber, and there hide 
Him in a closet, of such privacy 
That he might see her beauty unespied. 
And win perhaps that night a peerless bride. 
While legion'd fairies paced the coverlet. 
And pale enchantment held her sleepy-eyed. 
Never on such a night have lovers met. 
Since Merlin paid his Demon all the monstrous debt. 

XX. 

'* It shall be as thou wishest," said the Dame : 
*' All cates and dainties shall be stored there 
Qpickly on this feast-night : by the tambour finame 
Her own lute thou wilt see : no time to spare, 
For I am slow and feeble, and scarce dare 
On such a catering trust my dizzy head. 
Wait here, my child, with patience ; kneel in prayer 
The while : Ah I thou must needs the lady wed, 
Or may I never leave my grave among the dead." 



THE EVE OF ST: AGNES 225 

XXI. 

So saying, she hobbled off with busy fear. 
The lover's endless minutes slowly passM ; 
The dame returned, and whisper'd in his ear 
To follow her ; with aged eyes aghast 
From fright of dim espial. Safe at last, 
Through many a dusl^ gallery, they gain 
The maiden's chamber, silken, hush'd, and chaste ; 
Where Porphyro took covert, pleased amain. 
His poor guide hurried back with agues in her brain. 

xxn. 

Her faltering hand upon the balustrade. 
Old Angela was feeling for the stair. 
When Madeline, St. Agnes' charmed maid. 
Rose, like a mission'd spirit, unaware : 
With silver taper's light, and pious care, 
She tum'd, and down the aged gossip led 
To a safe level matting. Now prepare. 
Young Porpnyro, for gazing on that bed ; 
She comes, she comes again, like ring-dove fray'd and fied. 

xxm. 

Out went the taper as she hurried in ; 
Its little smoke, in pallid moonshine, died : 
She closed the door, she panted, all akin 
To spirits of the air, and visions wide : 
No utter'd syllable, or, woe betide I 
But to her heart, her heart was voluble. 
Paining with eloquence her balmy side ; 
As though a tongueless nightingale should swell 
Her throat in vain, and die, heart-stifled, in her dell. 

XXIV. 

A casement high and triple-arch'd there was. 
All garlanded with carven imageries 
Of fruits, knd flowers, and bunches of knot-grass. 
And diamonded with panes of quaint device, 

o 



226 THE VOLUME OF 1820 

Innumerable of stains and splendid dyes, 
As are the tiger-moth's deep-damask'd wings ; 
And in the midst, 'mong thousand heraldries, 
And twilight saints, and dim emblazonings, 
A shielded scutcheon blush'd with blood of queens and kings. 

XXV. 

Full on this casement shone the wintry moon. 
And threw warm gules on Madeline's fair breast, 
As down she knelt for heaven's grace and boon ; 
Rose-bloom fell on her hands, together prest. 
And on her silver cross soft amethyst. 
And on her hair a glory, like a saint : 
She seem'd a splendid angel, newly drest. 
Save wings, for heaven : — Porphyro grew faint : 
She knelt, so pure a thing, so free from mortal taint. 

XXVI. 

Anon his heart revives : her vespers done. 
Of all its wreathed pearls her hair she frees ; 
Unclasps her warmed jewels one by one ; 
Loosens her fragrant bodice ; by degrees 
Her rich attire creeps rustling to her knees : 
Half-hidden, like a mermaid in sea-weed. 
Pensive awhile she dreams awake, and sees. 
In fancy, fair St. Agnes in her bed. 
But dares not look behind, or all the charm is fled. 

xxvn. 
Soon, trembling in her soft and chilly nest, 
In sort of wakeful swoon, perplex'd ^e lay. 
Until the poppied warmth of sleep oppress'd 
Her soothed Umbs, and soul fatigued away ; 
Flown, like a thought, until the morrow-day ; 
Blissfully haven'd both from joy and pain ; 
Clasp'd like a missal where swart Pa3mims pray ; 
Blinded alike from sunshine and from rain, 
As though a rose should shut, and be a bud again. 



THE EVE OF ST. AGNES 227 

xxvra. 

Stolen to this paradise, and so entranced, 
Porphyro gazed upon her empty dress, 
And listened to her breathing, if it chanced 
To wake into a slumberous tenderness ; 
Which when he heard, that minute, did he bless, 
And breathed himself: then from the closet crept, 
Noiseless as fear in a wide wilderness. 
And over the hnsh'd carpet, silent, stept. 
And 'tween the curtains peep'd, where, lo I — how fast she slept. 

xxn. 

Then by the bed-side, where the faded moon 
Made a dim, silver twilight, soft he set 
A table, and, half anguish'd, threw thereon 
A doth of woven crimson, gold, and jet : — 
O for some drowsy Morphean amulet 1 
The boisterous, midnight, festive clarion. 
The kettle-drum, and far-heard clarionet, 
Affray his ears, though but in dying tone : — 
The hall door shuts again, and all the noise is gone. 

XXX. 

And still she slept an azure-lidded sleep, 
In blanched linen, smooth, and lavender'd. 
While he from forth the closet brought a heap 
Of candied apple, quince, and plum, and gourd 
With jellies soother than the creamy curd. 
And lucent syrops, tinct with cinnamon ; 
Manna and dates, in argosy transferred 
From Fez ; and spiced dainties, every one. 
From silken Samarcand to cedar^d Lebanon. 

XXXI. 

These delicates he heap'd with glowing hand 
On golden dishes and in baskets bright 
Of wreathed silver : sumptuous they stand 
In the retired quiet of the night, 

Q 2 



228 THE VOLUME OF 1820 

Filling the chilly room with perfume light. — 
" And now, my love, my seraph fair, awake I 
Thou art my heaven, and I thine eremite : 
Open thine eyes, for meek St. Agnes* sake, 
Or I shall drowse beside thee, so my soul doth ache 

• 

xxxn. 

Thus whispering, his warm, unnerved arm 
Sank in her pillow. Shaded was her dream 
By the dusk curtains : — 'twas a midnight charm 
Impossible to melt as iced stream : 
The lustrous salvers in the moonlight gleam : 
Broad golden fringe upon the carpet lies : 
It seem'd he never, never could redeem 
From such a steadfast spell his lady's eyes ; 
So mused awhile, entoil'd in woofed phantasies. 

xxxm. 

Awakening up, he took her hollow lute, — 
Tumultuous, — and, in chords that tenderest be, 
He play'd an ancient ditty, long since mute. 
In Provence call'd, ** La belle dame sans mercy : ** 
Qose to her ear touching the melody ; — 
Wherewith disturb'd, she utter'd a soft moan : 
He ceased — she panted quick — and suddenly 
Her blue affrayed eyes wide open shone : 
Upon his knees he sank, pale as smooth-sculptured stone. 

XXXIV. 

Her eyes were open, but she still beheld. 
Now wide awake, the vision of her sleep : 
There was a painful change, that nigh expell'd 
The blisses of her dream so pure and deep. 
At which fair Madeline began to weep. 
And moan forth witless words with many a sigh ; 
While still her gaze on Porphyro would keep ; 
Who knelt, with joined hands and piteous eye. 
Fearing to move or speak, she look'd so drean^ng^y. 



THE EVE OF ST. AGNES 

*' Ah, Porphyto I " said she, " but even now 
Thy voice was at sweet tremble in mine ear, 
Made tuneable with every sweetest vow ; 
And those sad eyes were spiritual and dear : 
How changed thou art I how pallid, chill, and drear I 
Give me that voice again, my Porphyro, 
Those looks immoital, those complainings dear 1 
Oh leave me not in this eternal woe. 
For if thou diest, my Love, I know not where to go." 



Beyond a mortal man impassion'd far 
At these voluptuous accents, he arose. 
Ethereal, Rush'd, and like a throbbing star 
Seen 'mid the sapphire heaven's deep repose ; 
Into her dream he melted, as the rose 
Blendeth its odour with the violet, — 
Solution sweet : meantime the frost-wind blows 
Like Love's alarum, pattering the sharp sleet 
Against the window-panes ; St. Agnes' moon hath set. 

XXX vu. 
'Tis dark : quick pattereth the flaw-blown sleet : 
" This is no dream, my bride, my Madeline I " 
'TIS dark : the iced gusts still rave and beat : 
" No dream, alas I alas ! and woe is mine I 
Porphyro will leave me here to fade and pine,— 
Cruel I what traitor could thee hither bring ? 
I curse not, for my heart is lost in thine, 
Utough thou forsakest a deceived thing ; — 
A dove forlorn and lost with sick unpruned wing." 

xxxvm. 
" My Madeline I sweet dreamer I lovely bride I 
Say, may I be for aye thy vassal blest 7 
Thy beauty's shield, heart-shaped and vermeil dyed ? 
Ah, silver shrine, here will I take my rest 



2 50 THE VOLUME OF 1820 

After so many hours of toil and quest, 
A faniish*d pilgrim, — saved by miracle. 
Though I have found, I will not rob thy nest 
Saving of thy sweet self ; if thou think'st we^ 
To trust, fair Madeline, to no rude in&del. 

XXXIX. 

'* Hark I 'tis an eliin-storm from faery land. 
Of haggard seeming, but a boon indeed : 
Arise — arise 1 the morning is at hand ; — 
The bloated wassailers will never heed : — 
Let us away, my love, with happy speed ; 
There are no ears to hear, or eyes to see, — 
Drown'd all in Rhenish and the sleepy mead : 
Awake 1 arise 1 my love, and fearless be, 
For o*er the southern moors I have a home for thee. "' 

XL. 

She hurried at his words, beset with fears. 
For there were sleeping dragons all around. 
At glaring watch, perhaps, with ready spears — 
Down the wide stairs a darkling way they found. — 
In all the house was heard no human sound. 
A chain-droop*d lamp was flickering by each door ; 
The arras, ridi with horseman, hawk, and hound, 
Flutter'd in the besieging wind's uproar ; 
And the long carpets rose along the gusty floor. 

xu. 
They glide, like phantoms, into the wide hall ; 
Like phantoms to the iron porch they glide ; 
Where lay the Porter, in uneasy sprawl, 
With a huge empty flagon by his side : 
The wakeful bloodhound rose, and shook his hide. 
But his sagacious eye an inmate owns : 
By one, and one, the bolts full easy slide : — 
The chains lie silent on the footworn stones ; — 
The key turns, and the door upon its hinges groans. 



THE EVE OF ST. AGNES 



231 



xui. 
And the) are gone : ay, ages long ago 
These lovers fled away into the storm. 
That nigiit the Baron dreamt of many a woe, 
And ail his warrior-guests, with shade and form 
Of witch, and demon, and large cof&n-worm. 
Were long be-nightmared. Angela the old 
Died palsy-twitch*d, with meagre face deform ; 
The Beadsman, after thousand aves told. 
For aye unsought for slept among his ashes cold. 



ODE TO A NIGHTINGALE 

MY heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains 
My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk, 
Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains 

One minute past, and Lethe-wards had sunk : 
Tis not through envy of thy happy lot. 
But being too happy in thine happiness, — 
That thou, light-winged Dryad of the trees, 
In some melodious plot 
Of beechen green, and shadows numberless, 
Singest of sunmier in full-throated ease. 

O, for a draught of vintage I that hath been 

Cool'd a long age in the deep-delved earth. 
Tasting of Flora and the country green, 

Dance, and Provencal song, and sunburnt mirth 
O for a beaker full of the warm South, 
Full of the true, the blushful Hippocrene, 
With beaded bubbles winking at the brim. 
And purple-stained mouth ; 
That I might drink, and leave the world unseen, 
And v^ith thee fade away into the forest dim : 

Fade far away, dissolve, and quite forget 
What thou among the leaves hast never known. 

The weariness, the fever, and the fret 

Here, where men sit and hear each other groan 

Where palsy shakes a few, sad, last gray hairs. 



ODE TO A NIGHTINGALE 233 

Where youth grows pale, and spectre-thin, and dies ; 

Where but to think is to De fiill of sorrow 
And leaden-eyed despairs. 
Where Beauty cannot keep her lustrous eyes, 

Or new Love pine at them beyond to-morrow. 

Away I away I for I will fly to thee, 

Not charioted by Bacchus and his pards, 
But on the viewless wings of Poesy, 

Though the dull brain perplexes and retards : 
Already with thee I tender is the night, 
And haply the Qiieen-Moon is on her throne, 
Quster'd around by all her starry Fays ; 
But here there is no light. 
Save what from heaven is with the breezes blown 
Through verdurous glooms and winding mossy ways. 

I cannot see what flowers are at my feet. 

Nor what soft incense hangs upon the boughs. 
But, in embalmed darkness, guess each sweet 

Wherewith the seasonable month endows 
The grass, the thicket, and the fruit-tree wild ; 
White hawthorn, and the pastoral eglantine ; 
Fast fading violets cover'd up in leaves ; 
And mid-May's eldest child, 
The coming musk-rose, full of dewy wine, 
The murmurous haunt of flies on summer eves. 

Darkling I listen ; and, for many a time 

I have been half in love with easeful Death, 
Call'd him soft names in many a mused rhyme, 

To take into the air my quiet breath ; 
Now more than ever seems it rich to die. 
To cease upon the midnight with no pain. 
While thou art pouring forth thy soul abroad 
In such an ecstasy 1 
Still wouldst thou sing, and I have ears in vain— 
To thy high requiem become a sod. 



234 THE VOLUME OF 1820 

Thou wast not born for death, immortal Bird I 

No hungry generations tread thee down ; 
The voice I hear this passing night was heard 

In ancient days by emperor and down : 
Perhaps the self-same song that found a path 
Through the sad heart of Ruth, when, sick for home, 
She stood in tears amid the alien com ; 
The same that oft-times hath 
Charm'd magic casements, opening on the foam 
Of perilous seas, in faery lands forlorn. 

Forlorn 1 the very word is like a bell 

To toll me back from thee to my sole self I 
Adieu I the fancy cannot cheat so. well 
As she is famed to do, deceiving elf. 
Adieu I adieu 1 thy plaintive anthem fades 
Past the near meadows, over the still stream. 
Up the hiU-side ; and now 'tis buried deep 
In the next valley-glades : 
Was it a vision, or a waking dream ? 
Fled is that music : — Do I wake or sleep ? 



ODE ON A GRECIAN URN 



Sylvan faistorian, who unst thus express 

A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme : 
What leaf-fiinged I^end haunts about thy shape 
Of deities or mortals, or of both. 
In Tempe or the dales of Arcady ? 
What men or gods are these? What maidens loth ? 
What mad pursuit ? What struggle to escape ? 
What pipes and timbreb ? What wild ecstasy ? 

Heard meliJiliiji Jrt swLut, but those unliearJ 

Are sweeter ; therefore, yc soft pipes, play on ; 
Not to the sensual ear, but, more endcar'd, 

Pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone : 
Fair youth, beneatli the trees, thou canst not leave 

Thy song, nor ever can those trees be bare , 
Boid Lover, never, never canst thou kiss, 
Though winning near the goal^yet, do not grieve; 

She cannot fade, though thou hast not thy bliss, 
For ever wilt thou love, and she be fair I 

Ah, bappy, happy boughs I that cannot shed 
Your leaves, nor ever bid the Spring adieu ; 

And, happy melodist, unwearied, 
For ever piping songs for ever new ; 

More happy love I more happy, happy love I 



236 THE VOLUME OF 1820 

For ever warm and still to be enjoy*d, 
For ever panting, and for ever young ; 
All breathing human passion far above, 

That leaves a heart high-sorrowful and clo3r'd, 
A burning forehead, and a parching tongue. 

Who are these coming to the sacrifice ? 

To what green altar, O mysterious prieist, 
Lead*st thou that heifer lowing at the skies. 

And all her silken flanks with garlands drest ? 
What little town by river or sea shore. 

Or mountain-built with peaceful citadel, 
Is emptied of this folk, this pious mom ? 
And, little town, thy streets for evermore 

Will silent be ; and not a soul to tell 
Why thou art desolate, can e'er return. 

O Attic shape I Fair attitude ! with brede 

Of marble men and maidens overwrought, 
With forest branches and the trodden weed ; 

Thou, silent form, dost tease us out of thought 
As doth eternity : Cold Pastoral ! 

When old age shall this generation waste. 
Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe 
Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say'st, 

** Beauty is truth, truth beauty,"— that is all 
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know. 



ODE TO PSYCHE 

O GODDESS 1 hear these tuneless numbers, wrung 
By sweet enforcement and remembrance dear, 
And pardon that thy secrets should be sung 

Even into thine own soft-conched ear : 
Surely I dreamt to-day, or did I see 

The winged Psyche with awaken'd eyes ? 
I wander'd in a forest thoughtlessly, 

And, on the sudden, fainting with surprise. 
Saw two fair creatures, couched side by side 
' In deepest grass, beneath the whispering roof 
Of leaves and trembled blossoms, where there ran 
A brooklet, scarce espied : 
*Mid hush*d, cool-rooted flowers, fragrant-eyed, 

Blue, silver-white, and budded Tyrian, 
They lay calm-breathing on the bedded grass ; 
Tlieir arms embraced, and their pinions too ; 
Their lips touch'd not, but had not bade adieu, 
As if disjoined by soft-handed slumber. 
And ready still past kisses to oumimiber 
At tender eye-dawn of aurorean love : 

The winged boy I knew ; 
But who wast thou, O happy, happy dove ? 
His Psyche true ! 



238 THE VOLUME OF 1820 

O latest bora and loveliest vision far 

Of all Ol3rmpus' faded hierarchy 1 
Fairer than Phoebe's sapphire-region'd star, 

Or Vesper, amorous glow-worm of the sky ; 
Fairer than these, though temple thou hast none, 

Nor altar heap*d with flowers ; 
Nor virgin<hoir to tnake delicious moan 

Upon the midnight hours ; 
No voice, no lute, no pipe, no incense sweet 

From chain-swung censer teeming ; 
No shrine, no grove, no oracle, no heat 

Of pale-mouth*d prophet dreaming. 

brightest 1 though too late for antique vows, 
Too, too late for the fond believing lyre. 

When holy were the haunted forest boughs, 
Holy the air, the water, and the Ere ; 

Yet even in these days so far retired 
From happy pieties, thy lucent fans. 
Fluttering among the fkint Olympians, 

1 see, and sing, by my own eyes inspired. 

So let me be thy choir, and make a moan 
Upon the midnight hours ; 
Thy voice, thy lute, thy pipe, thy incense sweet 

From swinged censer teeming ; 
Thy shrine, thy grove, thy oracle, thy heat 

Of pale-mouth'd prophet dreaming. 



Yes, I will be thy priest, and build a fane 

In some untrodden region of my mind, 
Where branched thoughts, new grown with pleasant pain. 

Instead of pines shall murmur in the wind : 
Far, far around shall those dark-duster'd trees 

Fledge the wild-ridged mountains steep by steep ; 
And there by zephyrs, streams, and birds, and bees, 

The moss-lain Dryads shall be lull'd to sleep ; 



ODE TO PSYCHE 



239 



And in the midst of this wide quietness 

A rosy sanctuary will I dress 

With the wre^'d ^ellis of a working brain, 

With buds, and bells, and stars without a name. 
With all the gardener Fancy e'er could feign, 

Who breeding ffowers^^will never breed the same, 
And there shall be for thee all soft delight 

That shadowy thought can win, 
A bright torch, and a casement ope at night, 

To let the warm Love in 1 



FANCY 

EVER let the Fancy roam, 
Pleasure never is at home : 
At a touch sweet Pleasure melteth, 
Like to bubbles when rain pelteth ; 
Then let winged Fancy wander 
Through the thought still spread beyond her : 
Open wide the mind*s cage-door, 
She*ll dart forth, and cloudward soar. 
O sweet Fancy ! let her loose ; 
Sununer's joys are spoilt by use, 
And the enjoying of the Spring 
Fades as does its blossoming ; 
Autumn's red-lipp*d fruitage too. 
Blushing through the mist and dew, 
Qoys with tasting : What do then ? 
Sit thee by the ingle, when 
The sear faggot blazes bright. 
Spirit of a winter's night ; 
When the soundless earth is muffled, 
And the caked snow is shuffled 
From the ploughboy's heavy shoon ; 
When the Night doth meet the Noon 
In a dark conspiracy 
To banish Even from her sky. 
Sit thee there, and send abroad, 
With a mind self-overawed. 
Fancy, high-conunission'd : — send her I 



FANCY 241 

She has vassals to attend her : 

She will bring, in spite of frost, 

Beauties that the earth hath lost ; 

She will bring thee, all together, 

All delights of summer weather ; 

All the buds and bells of May, 

From dewy sward or thorny spray ; 

All the heaped Autumn's wealth. 

With a still, mysterious stealth : 

She will mix these pleasures up 

Like three fit wines in a cup, 

And thou shalt quaff it : — thou shalt hear 

Distant harvest-carols clear ; 

Rustle of the reaped com ; 

Sweet birds antheming the mom : 
And, in the same moment — hark ! 
'lis the early April lark, 
Or the rooks, with busy caw, 
Foraging for sticks and straw. 
Thou shalt, at one glance, behold 
The daisy and the marigold ; 
White-plumed lilies, and the first 
Hedge-grown primrose that hath burst ; 
Shaded hyacinth, alway 
Sapphire queen of the mid-May ; 
And every leaf, and every flower 
Pearled with the self-same shower. 
Thou shalt see the field-mouse peep 
Meagre from its celled sleep ; 
And the snake all winter-thin 
Gist on suimy bank its skin ; 
Freckled nest-eggs thou shalt see 
Hatching in the hawthom-tree, 
When the hen-bird's wing doth rest 
Qpiet on her mossy nest ; 
Then the hurry and alarm 
When the bee-hive casts its swarm ; 



241 THE VOLUME OF 1820 

Acorns ripe down-pattering, 
While the autumn breezes sing. 

Oh, sweet Fancy 1 let her loose ; 
Every thing is spoilt by use : 
Where's the cheek that doth not fade. 
Too much gazed at ? Where's the maid 
Whose lip mature is ever new ? 
Where's the eye, however blue, 
Doth not weary ? Where's the fiice 
One would meet in every place ? 
Where's the voice, however soft. 
One would hear so very oft ? 
At a touch sweet Pleasure melteth 
Like to bubbles when rain pelteth. 
Let, then, winged Fancy find 
Thee a mistress to thy mind : 
Dulcet-eyed as Ceres' daughter. 
Ere the God of Torment taught her 
How to frown and how to chide ; 
With a waist and with a side 
White as Hebe's, when her zone 
Slipt its golden clasp, and down 
Fell her kirtle to her feet. 
While she held the goblet sweet. 
And Jove grew languid. — Break the mesh 
Of the Fancy's silken leash ; 
Qjiickly break her prison-string 
And such joys as these she'll bring. — 
Let the winged Fancy roam. 
Pleasure never is at home. 



ODE 

BARDS of Passion and of AGrth, 
Ye have left your souls on earth I 
Have ye souls in heaven too, 
Double-lived in regions new ? 
Yes, and those of heaven commune 
With the spheres of sun and moon ; 
With the noise of fountains wondrous, 
And the parle of voices thunderous ; 
With the whisper of heaven's trees 
And one another, in soft ease 
Seated on Elysian lawns 
Browsed by none but Dian's &wns ; 
Underneath large blue-bells tented, 
Where the daisies are rose-scented, 
And the rose herself has got 
Perfume which on earth is not ; 
Where the nightingale doth sing 
Not a senseless, tranced thing, 
But divine melodious truth ; 
Philosophic numbers smooth ; 
Tales and golden histories 
Of heaven and its mysteries. 

Thus ye live on high, and then 
On the earth ye live again ; 
And the souls ye left behind you 
Teach us, here, the way to find you, 

R 2 



244 



THE VOLUME OF 1820 



Where your other souls are jojongy 
Never ^umber'd, never cloying. 
Here, your earth-bom souls still speak 
To mortals, of their little week ; 
Of their sorrows and delights ; 
Of their passions and their spites ; 
Of their glory and their shame ; 
What doth strengthen and what maim. 
Thus ye teach us, every day. 
Wisdom, though fled far away. 



Bards of Passion and of Mirth, 
Ye have left your souls on earth I 
Ye have souls in heaven too. 
Double-lived in regions new 1 



UNES ON THE MERMAID TAFEHN 

SOULS of Poets dead and gone, 
What Elysium have ye known, 
Happy field or mossy cavern, 
Choicer than the Mermaid Tavern ? 
Have ye tippled drink more fine 
Than mine host's Canary wine ? 
Or are fruits of Paradise 
Sweeter than those dainty pies 
Of venison ? O generous food I 
Drest as though bold Robin Hood 
Would, with his maid Marian, 
Sup and bowse from horn and can. 

I have heard that on a day 
Mine host's sign-board flew away, 
Nobody knew whither, till 
An astrologer's old quill 
To a sheepskin gave the story, 
Said he saw you in your glory. 
Underneath a new old-sign 
Sipping beverage divine. 
And pledging with contented smack 
The Mermaid in the Zodiac. 

Souls of Poets dead and gone, 
What Elysium have ye known, 
Happy field or mossy cavern. 
Choicer than the Mermaid Tavern ? 



ROBIN HOOD 
To a Friend 

NO I those days are gone away. 
And their hours are old and gray, 
And their minutes buried all 
Under the down-trodden pall 
Of the leaves of many years : 
Many times have winter's shears, 
Froien North, and chilling East, 
Sounded tempests to the feast 
Of the forest's whispering fleeces. 
Since men knew nor rent nor leases 

No, the bugle sounds no mote. 
And die twanging bow no more ; 
Silent is the ivory shrill 
Past the heath and up the hill ; 
There is no nud-forest laugh. 
Where lone Echo gives the half 
To some wight, amazed to hear 
Jesting, deep in forest drear. 

On the fairest time of June 
You may go, with sun or moon. 
Or the seven stars to light you, 
Or the polar ray to right you ; 
But you never may behold 
little John, or Robin bold ; 
Never one, of all the clan. 
Thrumming on an empty can 



ROBJN HOOD 

Some old buntiiig ditty, wliile 
He doth his green way beguile 
To &ir hostess Meninieiit, 
Down be»de the pasture Trent ; 
For be left the merry tale, 
Hessenger for spicy ale. 

Gone, the meny morris din ; 
Gone, the song of Gamelyn ; 
Gone, the tough-belted outlaw 
Idling in the " gren£ shawe ; " 
All are gone away and past I 
And if Robin should be cast 
Sudden from his mifed grave. 
And if Marian should luve 
Once again her forest days. 
She would weep, and he would cnue : 
He would swear, for all his oaJcs, 
Fallen beneath the dockyard strokes, 
Have rotted on the briny seas ; 
She would weep that her wild bees 
Sang not to her— strange 1 that honey 
Can't be got without bard money I 

So it is : yet let us sing, 
Honour to the old bow-string I 
Honour to the bugle-horn I 
Honour to the woods unshom I 
Honour to the Lincoln green 1 
Honour to the archer keen I 
Honour to tight little John, 
And the hone he rode upon t 
Honour to bold Robin Hood, 
Sleeping in the underwood 1 
Honour to maid Marian, 
And to all the Sherwood-dan 1 
Though their days have harried by. 
Let us two a burden try. 



TO AUTUMN 

SEASON of mists and mellow fruitfulness, 
Qose bosom-friend of the maturing sun ; 
Conspiring with him how to load and bless 

With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run ; 
To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees. 
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core ; 
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells 
With a sweet kernel ; to set budding more, 
And still more, later flowers for the bees. 
Until they think warm days will never cease, 
For Summer has o*er-brimm'd their clammy cells. 

Who hath not seen thee ofr amid thy store ? 

Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find 
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor, 

Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind ; 
Or on a half-reapM furrow sound asleep. 

Drowsed with the iume of poppies, while thy hook 
Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers : 
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep 

Steady thy laden head across a brook ; 

Or by a cider-press, with patient look, 
Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours. 

Where are the songs of Spring ? Ay, where arc they ? 

Think not of them, thou hast thy music too, — 
While barred clouds bloom the sofi-d}ring day. 

And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue ; 



TO AUTUMN 

Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn 
Among the river sallows, borne aloft 

Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies ; 
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn ; 
Hedge-crickets sing ; and now with treble soft 
The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft ; 
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies. 



249 



ODE ON MELANCHOLY 

NO, no, go not to Lethe, neither twist 
Wolf s-bane, tight-rooted, for its poisonous vnnc ; 
Nor suffer thy pale forehead to be kiss'd 

By nightshade, ruby grape of Proserpine ; 
Make not your rosary of yew-berries. 
Nor let the beetle, nor the death-moth be 
Your mournful Psyche, nor the downy owl 
A partner in your sorrow's mysteries ; 
For shade to shade will come too drowsily, 
And drown the wakeful anguish of the soul. 

But when the melancholy fit shall fall 

Sudden from heaven lUce a weeping cloud, 
That fosters the droop-headed flowers all. 

And hides the green hill in an April shroud ; 
Then glut thy sorrow on a morning rose, 

Or on the rainbow of the salt sand-wave. 
Or on the wealth of globed peonies ; 
Or if thy mistress some rich anger shows, 

Emprison her soft hand, and let her rave, 
And feed deep, deep upon her peerless eyes. 

She dwells with Beauty — Beauty that must die ; 

And Joy, whose hand is ever at his lips 
Bidding adieu ; and aching Pleasure nigh. 

Turning to poison while the bee-mouth sips : 



ODE ON MELANCHOLY 



251 



Ay, in the very temple of Delight 
Veil'd Melancholy has her sovran shrine, 
Though seen of none save him whose strenuous tongue 
Gui burst Joy's grape against his palate fine ; 
His soul shall taste the sadness of her might, 
And be among her cloudy trophies hung* 



HYPERION. A FRAGMENT 



BOOK I 

DEEP in the shady sadness of a vale 
Far sunken from the healthy breath of mora, 
Far from the fiery noon, and eve's one star. 
Sat gray-hair'd Saturn, quiet as a stone, 
Still as the silence round about his lair ; 
Forest on forest hung about his head 
Like cloud on cloud. No stir of air was there. 
Not so much life as on a summer's day 
Robs not one light seed from the feather'd grass. 
But where the dead leaf fell, there did it rest. lo 

A stream went voiceless by, still deaden'd more 
By reason of his fallen divinity 
Spreading a shade : the Naiad 'mid her reeds 
Ih-ess'd her cold finger closer to her lips. 

Along the margin-sand large foot-marks went. 
No further than to where his feet had stray'd. 
And slept there since. Upon the sodden ground 
His old right hand lay nerveless, listless, dead, 
Unsceptred ; and his realmless eyes were closed ; 
While his bow'd head seem'd listening to the Earth, 20 

His ancient mother, for some comfort yet. 

It seem'd no force could wake him from his place ; 
But there came one, who with a kindred hand 



HYPERION 25} 

Touch'd his wide shoulders, after bending low 

With reverence, though to one who knew it not. 

She was a Goddess of the infant world ; 

By her in stature the tall Amazon 

Had stood a pigmy's height : she would have ta*en 

Achilles by the hair and bent his neck ; 

Or with a finger sta/d Ixion's wheel. 30 

Her face was large as that of Memphian sphinx, 

Pedestal'd haply in a palace court, 

When sages look'd to Egypt for their lore. 

But oh 1 how unlike marble was that face : 

How beautiful, if sorrow had not made 

Sorrow more beautiful than Beauty's self. 

There was a listening fear in her regard, 

As if calamity had but begun ; 

As if the vanward clouds of evil days 

Had spent their malice, and the sullen rear 40 

Was with its stored thunder labouring up. 

One hand she press'd upon that aching spot 

Where beats the human heart, as if just there, 

Though an inunortal, she felt cruel pain : 

The other upon Saturn's bended neck 

She laid, and to the level of his ear 

Y.eaning with parted lips, some words she spake 

In solemn tenour and deep organ tone : 

Some mourning words, which in our feeble tongue 

Would come in these like accents ; O how firail 50 

To that large utterance of the early Gods 1 

*' Saturn, look up ! — though wherefore poor old King ? 

I have no comfort for thee, no not one : 

I cannot say, ' O wherefore sleepest thou 

For heaven is parted from thee, and the earth 

Knows thee not, thus afflicted, for a God ; 

And ocean too, with all its solenm noise. 

Has from thy sceptre pass'd ; and all the air 

Is emptied of thine hoary nujesty. 

Thy thunder, conscious of the new command, 60 

Rumbles reluctant o'er our fallen house ; 



2S4 THE VOLUME OF 1820 

And thy sharp lightning in unpractised hands 

Scorches and bums our once serene domain. 

O aching time 1 O moments big as years 1 

All as ye pass swell out the monstrous truth. 

And press it so upon our weary griefis 

That unbelief has not a space to breathe. 

Saturn, sleep on : — O thoughtless, why did I 

Thus violate thy slumbrous solitude ? 

Why should I ope thy melancholy eyes ? 70 

Saturn, sleep on I while at thy feet I weep." 

As when, upon a tranced summer-night. 
Those green-robed senators of mighty woods. 
Tall oaks, branch-charmed by the earnest stars, 
Dream, and so dream all night without a stir. 
Save from one gradual solitary gust 
Which comes upon the silence, and dies off. 
As if the ebbing air had but one wave ; 
So came these words and went ; the while in tears 
She touch'd her fur large forehead to the ground, 80 

Just where her falling hair might be outspread 
A soft and silken nut for Saturn's feet. 
One moon, with alteration slow, had shed 
Her silver seasons four upon the night, 
And still these two were postured motionless, 
Like natural sculpture in cathedral cavern ; 
The frozen God still couchant on the earth. 
And the sad Goddess weeping at his feet : 
Until at length old Saturn lifted up 

His faded eyes, and saw his kingdom gone, 90 

And all the gloom and sorrow of the place, 
And that fair kneeling Goddess ; and then spake. 
As with a palsied tongue, and while his beard 
Shook horrid with such aspen-malady : 
** O tender spouse of gold Hyperion, 
Thea, I feel thee ere I see thy face ; 
Look up, and let me see our doom in it ; 
Look up, and tell me if this feeble shape 



HYPERION 255 

Is Saturn's ; tell me, if thou hear'st the voice 

Of Saturn ; tell me, if this wrinkling brow, 100 

Naked and bare of its great diadem, 

Peers like the front of Saturn. Who had power 

To make me desolate ? whence came the strength ? 

How was it nurtured to such bursting forth, 

While Fate seem'd strangled in my nervous grasp ? 

But it is so ; and I am smother'd up. 

And buried from all godlike exercise 

Of influence benign on planets pale, 

Of admonitions to the winds and seas. 

Of peaceful sway above man's harvesting, 1 10 

And all those acts which Deity supreme 

Doth ease its heart of love in. — ^I am gone 

Away from my own bosom : I have left 

My strong identity, my real self. 

Somewhere between the throne, and where I sit 

Here on this spot of earth. Search, Thea, search 1 

Open thine eyes eteme, and sphere them round 

Upon all space : space starr'd, and lorn of light ; 

Space region'd with life-air ; and barren void ; 

Spaces of fire, and all the yawn of hell. — 120 

Search, Thea, search 1 and tell me, if thou seest 

A certain shape or shadow, making way 

With wings or chariot fierce to repossess 

A heaven he lost erewhile : it must — it must 

Be of ripe progress — Saturn must be King. 

Yes, there must be a golden victory ; 

There must be Gods thrown down, and trumpets blown 

Of triumph calm, and hymns of festival 

Upon the gold clouds metropolitan. 

Voices of soft proclaim, and silver stir 1 30 

Of strings in hollow shells ; and there shall be 

Beautiful things made new, for the surprise 

Of the sky-children ; I will give command : 

Theal Thea I Thea I where is Saturn ?" 

This passion lifted him upon his feet, 



2S6 THE VOLUME OF 1820 

And made hb hands to struggle in the air. 

His Druid locks to shake and ooze with sweat. 

His eyes to fever out, his voice to cease. 

He stood, and heard not Thea*s sobbing deep ; 

A little time, and then again he snatch'd 140 

Utterance thus. — ** But cannot I create? 

Cannot I form ? Cannot I fashion forth 

Another world, another universe, 

To overbear and crumble this to nought ? 

Where is another chaos ? Where ? " — ^That word 

Found way unto Olympus, and nude quake 

The rebel three. — TTiea was startled up, 

And in her bearing was a sort of hope, 

As thus she quick-voiced spake, yet full of awe. 

'* This cheers our fallen house : come to our frieods, iSo 

Saturn 1 come away, and give them heart ; 

1 know the covert, for thence came I hither." 
Thus brief; then with beseeching eyes she went 
With backward footing through the shade a space : 
He foUowM, and she tum'd to lead the way 
Through aged boughs, that yielded like the mist 
Which eagles cleave upmounting from their nest. 

Meanwhile in other realms big tears were shed, 
More sorrow like to this, and such like woe. 
Too huge for mortal tongue or pen of scribe : 160 

The Utans fierce, self-hid, or prison-bound, 
Groan'd for the old allegiance once more, 
And listen'd in sharp pain for Satum% voice. 
But one of the whole mammoth-brood still kept 
His sovereignty, and rule, and majesty ; — 
Blazing Hyperion on his orbed fire 
Still sat, sdU snufiTd the incense, teeming up 
From man to the sun's God ; 3ret unsecure : 
For as among us mortals omens drear 
Fright and perplex, so also shudder'd he — 170 

Not at dog*s howl, or gloom-bird's hated screech. 



HYPERION 

Or ibt Cuiulur vi^ting of one 

Upon the first toll of his passing-bell. 

Or propbesyings of the midnight lamp ; 

But horrois, portioa'd to a giant nerve, 

Oft made Hyperion ache. His palace bti^t, 

Btution'd with pyramids of glowing gold. 

And touch'd with shade of bronzed obelisk}, 

Glared a blood-red through all its thousand couns, 

Arches, and domes, and fiery galleries ; 

And all its curtains of Aurorean clouds 

Flush'd angerly : while sometimes eagle's wings. 

Unseen before by Gods or wondering men, 

Darken'd the place ; and neighing steeds were heard. 

Not heard before by Gods or wondering men. 

Also, when he would iasie the spicy wreaths 

Of incense, breathed aloft from sacred hills. 

Instead of sweets, bis ample palate took 

Savour of poisonous brass and metal sick : 

And so, when harbour'd in the sleepy west, 

After the full completion of fair day, — 

For rest divine upon exalted couch 

And slumber in tbe arms of melody, 

He paced away the pleasant hours of ease 

With stride colossal, on from hall to hall ; 

While far within each aisle and deep recess, 

Hb winged minions in dose clusters stood. 

Amazed and full of fear ; like anxious men 

Who on wide plains gather in panting troops. 

When earthquakes jar their batdements and towers. 

Even now, while Saturn, roused from icy trance. 

Went step for step with Tlica through the woods, 

Hyperion, leaving twilight in the rear. 

Came slope upon the threshold of the west ; 

Then, as was wont, his palace-door fiew ope 

In smoothest silence, save what solemn tubes. 

Blown by the serious Zephyrs, gave of sweet 

And wandering sounds, slow-breathed melodies ; 

And like a rose in vermeil tint and shape, 



2S8 THE VOLUME OF 1820 

In fragrance soft, and coolness to the eye, 

That inlet to severe magnificence 

Stood iull blown, for the God to enter in. 

He enter'd, hot he entered full of wrath ; 
His flaming robes stream*d out beyond his heels. 
And gave a roar, as if of earthly fiie. 
That scared away the meek edieieal Hotnrs 
And nude their dove-wings tremble. On he flared. 
From stately nave to nave, from vault to vault. 
Through bowers of fragrant and enwreathed l^t. 
And diamond-paved lustrous long arcades, 
Until he reach*d the great main cupola ; 
There standing fierce beneadi, he stampt his foot. 
And from the basements deep to the high towers 
Jarr'd his own golden region ; and before 
The quavering thunder thereupon had ceased. 
His voice leapt out, despite of godlike curb. 
To this result : '' O dreams of day and night 1 
O monstrous forms 1 O effigies of pain 1 
O spectres busy in a cold, cold gloom I 

lank-ear'd Phantoms of black-weeded pools 1 
Why do I know ye ? why have I seen ye ? why 
Is my eternal essence thus distraught 

To see and to behold these horrors new ? 
Saturn is fallen, am I too to fall ? 
Am I to leave this haven of my rest. 
This cradle of my glory, this soft clime, 
This calm luxuriance of blissful light. 
These crystalline pavilions, and pure fanes, 
Of all my lucent empire ? It is left 
Deserted, void, nor any haunt of mine. 
The blaze, the splendour, and the symmetry, 

1 cannot see — but darkness, death and darkness. 
Even here, into my centre of repose, 

The shady visions come to domineer. 
Insult, and blind, and stifle up my pomp. — 
Fall 1 — No, by Tellus and her briny robes I 



HYPERION 2S9 

Over the fiery frontier of my realms 

I will advance a terrible right arm 

Shall scare that infant thimderer, rebel Jove, 

And bid old Saturn take his throne again." — 250 

He spake, and ceased, the while a heavier threat 

Held struggle with his throat but came not forth ; 

For as in theatres of crowded men 

Hubbub increases more they call out ** Hush 1 *' 

So at Hyperion's words the Phantoms pale 

Bestirr'd themselves, thrice horrible and cold ; 

And from the mirror'd level where he stood 

A mist arose, as from a scummy marsh. 

At this, through all his bulk an agony 

Crept gradual, from the feet unto the crown, 260 

Like a lithe serpent vast and muscular 

Making slow way, with head and neck convulsed 

From over-strained might. Released, he fled 

To the eastern gates, and full six dewy hours 

Before the dawn in season due should blush. 

He breathed fierce breath against the sleepy portals, 

Qear'd them of heavy vapours, burst them wide 

Suddenly on the ocean's chilly streams. 

The planet orb of fire, whereon he rode 

Each day from east to west the heavens through, 270 

Spun round in sable curtaining of clouds ; 

Not therefore veiled quite, blindfold, and hid. 

But ever and anon the glancing spheres. 

Circles, and arcs, and broad-belting colure, 

Glow'd through, and wrought upon the muffling dark 

Sweet-shaped lightnings from the tudir deep 

Up to the zenith, — hieroglyphics old. 

Which sages and keen-eyed astrologers 

Then living on the earth, with labouring thought 

Won from the gaze of many centuries : 280 

Now lost, save what we find on remnants huge 

Of stone, or marble swart ; their import gone, 

Their wisdom long since fled. — Two wings this orb 

Possessed for glory, two fair argent wings, 

s 2 



26o THE VOLUME OF 1820 

Ever exaked at the God's approach : 

And now, from forth the g^oom theu* plumes immense 

Rose, one by one, till all outspreaded were ; 

While still the daz.zling globe maintained eclipse. 

Awaiting for Hyperion's command. 

Fain would he have commanded, fain took throne 390 

And bid the day begin, if but for change. 

He might not : — No, though a primeval God : 

The sacred seasons might not be disturb*d. 

Therefore the operations of the dawn 

Sta/d in their birth, even as here 'tis told. 

Those silver wings expanded sisterly. 

Eager to sail their orb ; the porches wide 

Open'd upon the dusk demesnes of night ; 

And the bright Titan, frenzied with new woes. 

Unused to bend, by hard compulsion bent 300 

His spirit to the sorrow of the time ; 

And all along a dismal rack of clouds. 

Upon the boundaries of day and night, 

He stretch'd himself in grief and radiance faint. 

There as he lay, the Heaven with its stars 

Look'd down on him with pity, and the voice 

Of Coelus, from the universal space, 

Thus whispered low and solemn in his ear. 

** O brightest of my children dear, earth-bom 

And sky-engendered. Son of Mysteries ; 310 

All unrevealed even to the powers 

Which met at thy creating ; at whose joys 

And palpitations sweet, and pleasures soft, 

I, Coelus, wonder, how they came and whence ; 

And at the fruits thereof what shapes they be, 

Distina, and visible ; symbols divine. 

Manifestations of that beauteous life 

Diffused unseen throughout eternal space : 

Of these new-form'd art thou, oh brightest child 1 

Of these, thy brethren and the Goddesses ! 320 

There is sad feud among ye, and rebellion 

Of son against his sire. I saw him fall, 



HYPERION 261 

I saw my first-born tumbled from his throne I 

To me his arms were spread, to me his voice 

Found way from forth the thunders round his head 1 - 

Pale wox I, and in vapours hid my face. 

Art thou, too, near such doom ? vague fear there is : 

For I have seen my sons most unlike Gods. 

Divine ye were created, and divine 

In sad demeanour, solemn, undisturbed, 3 30 

Unruffled, like high Gods, ye lived and ruled : 

Now I behold in you fear, hope, and wrath ; 

Actions of rage and passion ; even as 

I see them, on the mortal world beneath. 

In men who die. — This is the grief, O Son I 

Sad sign of ruin, sudden dismay, and fall 1 

Yet do thou strive ; as thou art capable. 

As thou canst move about, an evident God ; 

And canst oppose to each malignant hour 

Ethereal presence : — I am but a voice ; 340 

My life is but the life of winds and tides, 

No more than winds and tides can I avail : — 

But thou canst. — Be thou therefore in the van 

Of circumstance ; yea, seize the arrow's barb 

Before the tense string murmur. — To the earth ! 

For there thou wilt find Saturn, and his woes. 

Meantime I will keep watch on thy bright sim. 

And of thy seasons be a careful nurse." — 

Ere half this region-whisper had come down, 

Hyperion arose, and on the stars 350 

Lifted his curved lids, and kept them wide 

Until it ceased ; and still he kept them wide : 

And still they were the same bright, patient stars. 

Then with a slow incline of his broad breast, 

Like to a diver in the pearly seas, 

Forward he stoop'd over the airy shore, 

And plunged all noiseless into the deep night. 



BOOK II 

JUST at the self-same beat of Time's wide wings 
Hyperion slid into the rustled air. 
And Saturn gain*d with Thea that sad place 
Where Cybele and the bruised Titans moum*d. 
It was a den where no insulting light 
Could glimmer on their tears ; where their own groans 
They felt, but heard not, for the solid roar 
Of thunderous waterfalls and torrents hoarse. 
Pouring a constant bulk, uncertain where. 
Crag jutting forth to crag, and rocks that seem'd lo 

Ever as if just rising from a sleep. 
Forehead to forehead held their monstrous horns ; 
And thus in thousand hugest phantasies 
Made a fit roofing to this nest of woe. 
Instead of thrones, hard flint they sat upon. 
Couches of rugged stone, and slaty ridge 
Stubbom'd with iron. All were not assembled : 
Some chain*d in torture, and some wandering. 
Cceus, and Gyges, and Briareus, 

Typhon, and Dolor, and Porphyrion, 20 

With many more, the brawniest in assault, 
Were pent in regions of laborious breath ; 
Dungeon'd in opaque element, to keep 
Their clenched teeth still clench'd, and all their limbs 
Lock'd up like veins of metal, crampt and screw'd ; 
Without a motion, save of their big hearts 
Heaving in pain, and horribly convulsed 



HYPERION 263 

With sanguine feverous boiling gurge of pulse. 

Mnemosyne was straying in the world ; 

Far from her moon had Phoebe wandered ; 30 

And many else were free to roam abroad, 

But for the main, here found they covert drear. 

Scarce images of life, one here, one there. 

Lay vast and edgeways ; like a dismal cirque 

Of Druid stones, upon a forlorn moor. 

When the chill rain begins at shut of eve, 

In dull November, and their chancel vault, 

The Heaven itself, is blinded throughout night. 

Each one kept shroud, nor to his neighbour gave 

Or word, or look, or action of despair. 40 

Creus was one ; his ponderous iron mace 

Lay by him, and a shattered rib of rock 

Told of his rage, ere he thus sank and pined. 

lapetus another ; in his grasp, 

A serpent's plashy neck ; its barbed tongue 

Squeezed from the gorge, and all its uncurFd length 

Dead ; and because the creature could not spit 

Its poison in the eyes of conquering Jove. 

Next Cottus : prone he lay, chin uppermost, 

As though in pain ; for still upon the flint 50 

He ground severe his skull, with open mouth 

And eyes at horrid working. Nearest him 

Asia, bom of most enormous Caf, 

Who cost her mother Tellus keener pangs, 

Though feminine, than any of her sons : 

More thought than woe was in her dusky face, 

For she was prophesying of her glory ; 

And in her wide imagination stood 

Palm-shaded temples, and high rival fanes, 

By Oxus or in Ganges* sacred isles. 60 

Even as Hope upon her anchor leans, 

So leant she, not so fair, upon a tusk 

Shed from the broadest of her elephants. 

Above her, on a crag's uneasy shelve. 

Upon his elbow raised, all prostrate else, 



264 THE VOLUME OF 1820 

Shadow'd Enceladus ; once tame and mild 

As grazing ox unworried in the meads ; 

Now tiger-passion'd, lion-thoughted, wroth. 

He meditated, plotted, and even now 

Was hurling mountains in that second war, 70 

Not long delay'd, that scared the younger Gods 

To hide themselves in forms of beast and bird. 

Nor far hence Atlas ; and beside him prone 

Phorcus, the sire of Gorgons. Neighbour'd close 

Oceanus, and Tethys, in whose lap 

Sobb'd Qymene among her tangled hair. 

In midst of all lay Themis, at the feet 

Of Ops the queen all clouded round from sight ; 

No shape distinguishable, more than when 

Thick night confounds the pine-tops with the clouds : 80 

And many else whose names may not be told. 

For when the Muse's wings are air-ward spread. 

Who shall delay her flight ? And she must chant 

Of Saturn, and his guide, who now had dimb'd 

With damp and slippery footing from a depth 

More horrid still. Above a sombre cliff 

Their heads appear*d, and up their stature grew 

Till on the level height their steps found ease : 

Then Thea spread abroad her trembling arms 

Upon the precincts of this nest of pain, 90 

And sidelong fix'd her eye on Saturn's face : 

There saw she direst strife ; the supreme God 

At war with all the frailty of grief, 

Of rage, of fear, anxiety, revenge. 

Remorse, spleen, hope, but most of all despair. 

Against these plagues he strove in vain ; for Fate 

Had pour'd a mortal oil upon his head, 

A disanointing poison : so that Thea, 

Aflrighted, kept her still, and let him pass 

First onwards in, among the fidlen tribe. 100 

As with us mortal men, the laden heart 
Is persecuted more, and fever'd more, 



HYPERION 26s 

When it is nighing to the mournful house 

Where other hearts are sick of the same bruise ; 

So Saturn, as he walk'd into the midst, 

Felt faint, and would have sunk among the rest, 

But that he met £nceladus*s eye, 

Whose mightiness, and awe of him, at once 

Came like an inspiration ; and he shouted, 

*' Titans, behold your God 1 " at which some groan'd ; 1 10 

Some started on their feet ; some also shouted ; 

Some wept, some wail'd, all bow'd with reverence ; 

And Ops, uplifting her black folded veil, 

Showed her pale cheeks, and all her forehead wan, 

Her eye-brows thin and jet, and hollow eyes. 

There is a roaring in the bleak-grown pines 

When Winter lifts his voice ; there is a noise 

Among immortals when a God gives sign, 

With hushing finger, how he means to load 

His tongue with the full weight of utterless thought, lao 

With thunder, and with music, and with pomp : 

Such noise is like the roar of bleak-grown pines ; 

Which, when it ceases in this mountainM world, 

No other sound succeeds ; but ceasing here, 

Among these fallen, Saturn's voice therefrom 

Grew up like organ, that begins anew 

Its strain, when other harmonies, stopt short. 

Leave the dinn'd air vibrating silverly. 

Thus grew it up — " Not in my own sad breast, 

Which is its own great judge and searcher out, 130 

Can I find reason why ye should be thus : 

Not in the legends of the first of da3rs. 

Studied from that old spirit-leaved book 

Which starry Uranus with finger bright 

Saved from the shores of darkness, when the waves 

Low-ebb'd still hid it up in shallow gloom ; — 

And the which book ye know I ever kept 

For my firm-based footstool : — Ah, infirm ! 

Not there, nor in sign, symbol, or portent 

Of element, earth, water, air, and fire, — 140 



266 7HE VOLUME OF 1820 

At war, at peace, or inter-quarrelling 

One against one, or two, or three, or all. 

Each several one against the other three, 

As fire with air loud warring when rain-floods 

Drown both, and press them both against earth's face^ 

Where, finding sulphur, a quadruple wrath 

Unhinges the poor world ; — not in that strife, 

Wherefirom I take strange lore, and read it deep, 

Can I find reason why ye should be thus : 

No, no-where can unriddle, though I search, iS^ 

And pore on Nature's universal scroll 

Even to swooning, why ye, Divinities, 

The first-bom of all shaped and palpable Gods, 

Should cower beneath what, in comparison,-; 

Is untremendous might. Yet ye are here, 

O'erwhelm'd, and spum'd, and batter'd, ye are here ! 

O Titans, shall I say * Arise ! ' — Ye groan : 

Shall I say * Crouch I '—Ye groan. What can I then ? 

O Heaven wide I O unseen parent dear I 

What can I ? Tell me, all ye brethren Gods, 160 

How we can war, how engine our great wrath ! 

speak your counsel now, for Saturn's ear 
Is all a-hunger'd. Thou, Oceanus, 
Ponderest high and deep ; and in thy face 

1 see, astonied, that severe content 

Which comes of thought and musing : give us help I " 

So ended Saturn ; and the God of the Sea, 
Sophist and sage, from no Athenian grove. 
But cogitation in his watery shades. 

Arose, with locks not oozy, and began, 170 

In murmurs, which his first-endeavouring tongue 
Caught infant-like from the far-foamed sands. 
" O ye, whom wrath consumes 1 who, passion-stung. 
Writhe at defeat, and nurse your agonies I 
Shut up your senses, stifle up your ears, 
My voice is not a bellows unto ire. 
Yet listen, ye who will, whilst I bring proof 



HYPERION 267 

How ye, perforce, must be content to stoop : 

And in the proof much comfort will I give. 

If ye will take that comfort in its truth. 180 

We fall by course of Nature's law, not force 

Of thunder, or of Jove. Great Saturn, thou 

Hast sifted well the atom-universe ; 

But for this reason, that thou art the King, 

And only blind from sheer supremacy. 

One avenue was shaded from thine eyes. 

Through which I wander'd to eternal truth. 

And first, as thou wast not the first of powers. 

So art thou not the last ; it cannot be : 

Thou art not the beginning nor the end. 190 

From chaos and parental darkness came 

Light, the first fiiiits of that intestine broil. 

That sullen ferment, which for wondrous ends 

Was ripening in itself. The ripe hour came. 

And with it light, and light, engendering 

Upon its own producer, forthwith touched 

The whole enormous matter into life. 

Upon that very hour, our parentage, • 

The Heavens and the Earth, were manifest : 

Then thou first-bom, and we the giant-race, 200 

Found ourselves ruling new and beauteous realms. 

Now comes the pain of truth, to whom 'tis pain ; 

O folly I for to bear all naked truths. 

And to envisage circumstance, all calm, 

That is the top of sovereignty. Mark well ! 

As Heaven and Earth are fairer, fairer far 

Than Chaos and blank Darkness, though once cbit£s ; 

And as we show beyond that Heaven and Earth 

In form and shape compact and beautiful. 

In will, in action free, companionship, 210 

And thousand other signs of purer life ; 

So on our heels a fresh perfection treads, 

A power more strong in beauty, bom of us 

And fated to excel us, as we pass 

In glory that old Darkness : nor are we 



268 THE VOLUME OF 1820 

Thereby more conquer'd, than by us the rule 

Of shapeless Chaos. Say, doth the dull soil 

Quarrel with the proud forests it hath fed. 

And feedeth still, more comely than itself? 

Can it deny the chiefdom of green groves ? 220 

Or shall the tree be envious of the dove 

Because it cooeth, and hath snowy wings 

To wander wherewithal and find its joys ? 

We are such forest-trees, and our fair boughs 

Have bred forth, not pale solitary doves. 

But eagles golden-feather'd, who do tower 

Above us in their beauty, and must reign 

In right thereof; for *tis the eternal law 

That first in beauty should be first in might : 

Yea, by that law, another race may drive 230 

Our conquerors to mourn as we do now. 

Have ye beheld the young God of the Seas, 

My dispossessor ? Have ye seen his face ? 

Have ye beheld his chariot, foam'd along 

By noble winged creatures he hath made ? 

I saw him on the calmed waters scud. 

With such a glow of beauty in his eyes. 

That it enforced me to bid sad farewell 

To all my empire : farewell sad I took. 

And hither came, to see how dolorous fate 240 

Had wrought upon ye ; and how I might best 

Give consolation in this woe extreme. 

Receive the truth, and let it be your balm." 

Whether through pozed conviction, or disdain, 
They guarded silence, when Oceanus 
Left murmuring, what deepest thought can tell ? 
But so it was, none answer'd for a space. 
Save one whom none regarded, Qymene ; 
And yet she answer'd not, only complain'd, 
With hectic lips, and eyes up-looking mild, 250 

Thus wording timidly among the fierce : 
•* O Father, I am here the simplest voice, 



HYPERION 269 

And all my knowledge is that joy is gone, 

And this thing woe crept in among our hearts, 

There to remain for ever, as I fear : 

I would not bode of evil, if I thought 

So weak a creature could turn off the help 

Which by just right should come of mighty Gods ; 

Yet let me tell my sorrow, let me tell 

Of what I heard, and how it made me weep, 260 

And know that we had parted from all hope. 

I stood upon a shore, a pleasant shore. 

Where a sweet clime was breathed from a land 

Of fragrance, quiemess, and trees, and flowers. 

Full of calm joy it was, as I of grief; 

Too full of joy and soft delicious warmth ; 

So that I felt a movement in my heart 

To chide, and to reproach that solitude 

With songs of misery, music of our woes ; 

And sat me down, and took a mouthed shell 270 

And murmurM into it, and made melody — 

melody no more 1 for while I sang. 
And with poor skill let pass into the breeze 
The dull shell's echo, from a bowery strand 
Just opposite, an island of the sea, 

There came enchantment with the shifting wind. 
That did both drown and keep alive my ears. 

1 threw my shell away upon the sand, 
And a wave filFd it, as my sense was flll*d 

With that new blissful golden melody. 280 

A living death was in each gush of sounds, 

Each family of rapturous hurried notes, 

That fell, one after one, yet all at once. 

Like pearl beads dropping sudden from their string : 

And then another, then another strain. 

Each like a dove leaving its olive perch. 

With music wing*d instead of silent plumes. 

To hover round my head, and make me sick 

Of joy and grief at once. Grief overcame. 

And I was stopping up my frantic ears, 290 



370 THE VOLUME OF 1820 

When, past all hindrance of my trembling hands, 
A voice came sweeter, sweeter than all tune. 
And still it cried, ' Apollo 1 young Apollo ! 
The morning-bright Apollo I young Apollo ! ' 
I fled, it follow'd me, and cried * Apollo ! ' 
O Father, and O Brethren, had ye felt 
Those pains of mine ; O Saturn, hadst thou fdt. 
Ye would not call this too indulged tongue 
Presumptuous, in thus venturing to be heard.^* 

So far her voice flowM on, like timorous brook 300 

That, lingering along a pebbled coast. 
Doth fear to meet the sea : but sea it met. 
And shudder'd ; for the overwhelming voice 
Of huge Enceladus swallowed it in wrath : 
The ponderous syllables, like sullen waves 
In the half-glutted hollows of reef-rocks, 
Came booming thus, while still upon his arm 
He leanM ; not rising, from supreme contempt. 
" Or shall we listen to the over-wise. 
Or to the over-foolish giant, Gods ? 310 

Not thunderbolt on thunderbolt, till all 
That rebel Jove's whole armoury were spent. 
Not world on world upon these shoulders piled. 
Could agonize me more than baby-words 
In midst of this dethronement horrible. 
Speak ! roar ! shout I yell ! ye sleepy Utans all. 
Do ye forget the blows, the buffets vile ? 
Are ye not smitten by a youngling arm ? 
Dost thou forget, sham Monarch of the Waves, 
Thy scalding in the seas ? What, have I roused 320 

Your spleens with so few simple words as these ? 
O joy I for now I see ye are not lost : 
O joy 1 for now I see a thousand eyes 
Wide glaring for revenge ! " — As this he said. 
He lifted up his stature vast, and stood. 
Still without intermission speaking thus : 
** Now ye are flames, TU tell you how to bum. 



HYPERION 271 

And purge the ether of our enemies ; 

How to feed fierce the crooked stings of fire, 

And singe away the swollen clouds of Jove, 3 30 

Stifling that puny essence in its tent. 

O let him feel the evil he hath done ; 

For though I scorn Oceanus*s lore. 

Much pain have I for more than loss of realms : 

The days of peace and slumberous calm are fied ; 

Those days, all innocent of scathing war. 

When all the fair Existences of heaven 

Came open-eyed to guess what we would speak : — 

That was before our brows were taught to frown. 

Before our lips knew else but solemn sounds ; 340 

That was before we knew the winged thing, 

Virtory, might be lost, or might be won. 

And be ye mindful that Hyperion, 

Our brightest brother, still is undisgraced — 

Hyperion, lo 1 his radiance is here 1 " 

All eyes were on Enceladus's face. 
And they beheld, while still Hyperion's name 
Flew from his lips up to the vaulted rocks, 
A pallid gleam across his features stem : 
Not savage, for he saw full many a God 350 

Wroth as himself. He looked upon them all, 
And in each face he saw a gleam of light. 
But splendider in Saturn's, whose hoar locks 
Shone like the bubbling foam about a keel 
When the prow sweeps into a midnight cove. 
In pale and silver silence they remained. 
Till suddenly a splendour, like the mom, 
Pervaded all the beetling gloomy steeps. 
All the sad spaces of oblivion. 

And every gulf, and every chasm old, 360 

And every height, and every sullen depth, 
Voiceless, or hoarse with loud tormented streams : 
And all the everlasting cataracts, 
And all the headlong torrents far and near, 



272 THE VOLUME OF 1820 I 

Mantled before in darkness and huge shade, 

Now saw the light and made it terrible. 

It was Hyperion : — a granite peak 

His bright feet touch'd, and there he sta/d to view 

The misery his brilliance had betra3r*d 

To the most hateful seeing of itself. yp 

Golden his hair of short Numidian curl, 

Regal his shape majestic, a vast shade 

In midst of his own brightness, like the bulk 

Of Memnon*s image at the set of sun 

To one who travels from the dusking East : 

Sighs, too, as mournful as that Menmon's harp, 

He utter'd, while his hands, contemplative, 

He press*d together, and in silence stood. 

Despondence seized again the fallen Gods 

At sight of the dejected King of Day, 3S0 

And many hid their faces from the light : 

But fierce Enceladus sent forth his eyes 

Among the brotherhood ; and, at their glare. 

Uprose lapetus, and Creus too. 

And Phorcus, sea-bom, and together strode 

To where he tower*d on his eminence. 

There those four shouted forth old Saturn's name ; 

Hyperion from the peak loud answer*d, ** Saturn I ** 

Saturn sat near the Mother of the Gods, 

In whose face was no joy, though all the Gods 390 

Gave from their hollow throats the name of ** Saturn ! " 



BOOK III 

THUS, in alternate uproar and sad peace, 
Amazed were those Titans utterly. 
O leave them, Muse 1 O leave them to their woes ; 
For thou art weak to sing such tumults dire : 
A solitary sorrow best befits 
Thy lips, and antheming a lonely grief. 
Leave them, O Muse 1 for thou anon wilt find 
Many a fallen old Divinity 
Wandering in vain about bewilder'd shores. 
Meantime touch piously the Delphic harp, lo 

And not a wind of heaven but will breathe 
In aid soft warble from the Dorian flute ; 
For lo I 'tis for the Father of all verse. 
Flush everything that hath a vermeil hue, 
Let the rose glow intense and warm the air. 
And let the clouds of even and of mom 
Float in voluptuous fleeces o'er the hills ; 
Let the red wine within the goblet boil. 
Cold as a bubbling well ; let faint-lipp'd shells. 
On sands, or in great deeps, vermilion turn 20 

Through all their labyrinths ; and let the maid 
Blush keenly, as with some warm kiss surprised. 
Chief isle of the embowered Cyclades, 
Rejoice, O Delos, with thine olives green, 
And poplars, and lawn-shading palms, and beech. 
In whidi the Zeph3rr breathes the loudest song, 
And hazels thick, dark-stemm'd beneath the shade 
Apollo is once more the golden theme I 



THE VOLUME OF 1820 

Where was he, when the Giant of the Stm 
Stood bright, inud the sorrow of his peers ? 
Together had he left his mother fair 
And his twin-sister sleeping in that bower. 
And in the morning twilight waoder'd fonh 
Be^de the osiers of a rivulet. 
Full ankle-deep in lilies of the vale. 
The nightingale had ceased, and a few stars 
Were lingering in the heavens, while the thrush 
Began calm-throated. Throughout all the isle 
There was no coven, no retired cave 
Unhaunted by the munnnrous noise of waves. 
Though scarcely heard in many a green recess. 
He liaen'd, and he wept, and his bright teais 
Went iriclding down the golden bow he held. 
Thus with half-shut suffused eyes he stood. 
While from beneath some cumbrous boughs bard by 
With solemn step an awfiil Goddess came. 
And there was purport in her looks for him. 
Which he with eager guess began to read 
Perplez'd, the while melodiously he said : 
" How earnest thou over the unfooted sea ? 
Or hath that antique mien and robed form 
Moved in these vales invi^ble till now ? 
Sure I have heard those vestments sweejmig o'er 
The fallen leaves, when I have sat alone 
In cool roid-foiest. Surely I have traced 
The rustle of those ample skirts about 
These grassy solimdes, and seen the flowers 
Lift up their heads, as still the whisper pass'd. 
Goddess I I have beheld those eyes before. 
And their eternal calm, and all that face, 
Or I have dream'd." — " Yes," said the snpieine diape, 
" Thou hast dream'd of me : and awaking up 
Didst find a lyre all golden by thy side. 
Whose strings touch'd by thy fingers, all the vast 
Unwearied ear of the whole universe 
listen'd m pain and pleasure at the birth 



HYPERJOU 

Of SQch new tuneful wonder, b't not strange 

That diou shouldst weep, so gifted ? Tell me, youth. 

What sorrow thou canst feel ; for I am sad 

When thou dost shed a tear : explain thy griefs 

To one who in this lonely isle hath been 

The watcher of thy sleep and hours of life. 

From the young day when first thy iotant hand 

Pluck'd witless the weak flowers, till thine arm 

Could bend that bow heroic to all times. 

Show thy heart's secret to an ancient Power 

Who hath forsaken old and sacred thrones 

For prophecies of thee, and for the sake 

Of loveliness new bom," — Apollo then. 

With sudden scrutiny and gloomless eyes. 

Thus answer'd, while bis white melodious throat 

Throbb'd with the syllables : — " Mnemosyne [ 

Tliy name is on my tongue, I know not bow ; 

Why should I tell thee what thou so well seest 7 

Why should 1 strive to show what from thy lips 

Would come no mystery ? For me, dark, dark. 

And painful vile oblivion seals my eyes : 

I strive to search wherefore I am so sad. 

Until a melancholy numbs my limbs ; 

And then upon the grass I sit, and moan, 

Like one who once had wings. — O why should I 

Feel cursed and thwarted, when the liegeless air 

Yields to my step aspirant ? why should I 

Spurn the green turf as hateful to my feet ? 

Goddess boiign, point forth some unknown thing : 

Are there not other regions than this isle ? 

What are the stars ? There is the sun, the sun I 

And the most patient brilliance of the moon ! 

And stars by thousands 1 Point me out the way 

To any one particular beauteous star. 

And I will fiit into it with my lyre. 

And make its silvery splendour pant with bliss. 

I have heard the cloudy thunder : Where is power 7 

Whose hand, whose essence, what divinity 



276 THE VOLUME OF 1820 

Makes this alanira in the elements, 

While I here idle listen on the shores 

In fearless yet in aching ignorance ? 

O tell me, lonely Goddess, by thy harp, 

That waileth every mom and eventide. 

Tell me why thus I rave about these groves ! no 

Mute thou remainest — ^Mute 1 ytx I can read 

A wondrous lesson in thy silent face : 

Knowledge enormous makes a God of me. 

Names, deeds, gray legends, dire events, rebellions, 

Majesties, sovran voices, agonies. 

Creations and destroyings, all at once 

Pour into the wide hollows of my brain. 

And deify me, as if some blithe wine 

Or bright elixir peerless I had drunk. 

And so become immortal." — ^Thus the God, no 

While his enkindled eyes, with level glance 

Beneath his white soft temples, steadfast kept 

Trembling with light upon Mnemosyne. 

Soon wild commotions shook him, and made flush 

All the immortal fairness of his limbs ; 

Most like the struggle at the gate of death ; 

Or liker still to one who should take leave 

Of pale immortal death, and with a pang 

As hot as death's is chill, with fierce convulse 

Die into life : so young Apollo anguish'd : 130 

His very hair, his golden tresses £amed 

Kept undulation round his eager neck. 

During the pain Mnemosyne upheld 

Her arms as one who prophesied. — At length 

Apollo shriek'd ; — and lo ! from all his limbs 

Celestial • • • • » 



POSTHUMOUS POEMS 



ON ... . 

THINK not of it, sweet one, so ;• 
Give it not a tear ; 
Sigh thou mayst, and bid it go 
Any — any where. 

Do not look so sad, sweet one,— 

Sad and fadingly ; 
Shed one drop (and only one), 

Oh I 'twas bom to die 1 

Still so pale ? then, dearest, weep ; 

Weep, ril count the tears. 
For each will I invent a bliss 

For thee in after years. 

Brighter has it left thine eyes 

Than a sunny rill ; 
And thy whispering melodies 

Are more tender still. 

Yet — as all things mourn awhile 

At fleeting blisses ; 
Let us too ; but be our dirge 

A dirge of kisses. 



ON SEEING A LOCK OF MILTON'S HAIR 

CHIEF of organic numbers 1 
Old Scholar of the Spheres ! 
Thy spirit never slumbers, 
But rolls about our ears 
For ever and for ever I 
O what a mad endeavour 

Worketh He, 
Who to thy sacred and ennobled hearse 
Would offer a burnt sacrifice of verse 

And melody. 

How heaven-ward thou soundest I 
Live Temple of sweet noise, 
And Discord unconfbnndest, 
Giving Delight new joys, 
And Pleasure nobler pinions : 
O where are thy dominions ? 

Lend thine ear 
To a young Delian oath — ay, by thy soul. 
By all that from thy mortal lips did roll, 
Aiid by the kernel of thy earthly love. 
Beauty in things on eardi and things above, 
I swear 1 

When every childish fashion 

Has vanished from my rhyme, 

Will I, gray gone in passion, 

Leave to an after-time. 



k 



ON SEEING A LOCK OF MILTONS HAIR 



281 



Hymning and Harmony 
Of thee and of thy works, and of thy life ; 
But vain is now the burning and the strife : 
Pangs are in vain, until I grow high-rife 

With old Philosophy, 
And mad with glimpses of futurity. 

For many years my offerings must be hush'd ; 
When I do speak, Fll think upon this hour. 
Because I fed my forehead hot and flush'd. 
Even at the simplest vassal of thy power. 

A lock of thy bright hair, — 

Sudden it came. 
And I was startled when I caught thy name 

Coupled so unaware ; 
Yet at the moment temperate was my blood — 
I thought I had beheld it from the flood ! 



THE THRUSH 

[I was led into these thoughts, my dear 'ReytuMs, by the beauty of &i 
morning operating on a sense of idleness, I have not read any ioob— 
the morning said I was right — / had no idea hut of the morning, ad 
the thrush said I was right, seeming to say,] 

O THOU I whose face hath felt the Winter's wind. 
Whose eye hath seen the snow-douds hung in mist, 
And the black ekn-tops among the freezing stars : 
To thee the Spring will be a harvest-time. 
O thou I whose only book hath been the light 
Of supreme darkness, which thou feddest on 
Night after night, when Phoebus was away, 
To thee the Spring will be a triple mom. 
O finet not after knowledge 1 — I have none. 
And yet my song comes native with the warmth. 
O fret not after knowledge 1 — I have none, 
And yet the Evening listens. He who saddens 
At thought of idleness cannot be idle. 
And he's awake who thinks himself asleep. 



1 



mUlTEN FROM TEIGNMOVTH 
A Semimscence of Claudes " EnchimUd CastU " 

DEAR Reynolds I as last night I Uy in bed, 
There came before my eyes that wonted thread 
Of shapes, and shadows, and remembrances, 
That every other minute ves and please : 
Things all disjointed come &om noith and south,— 
Two Witch's eyes above a Cherub's mouth, 
Voltaire with casque and shield and habergeon. 
And Alexander with his night-cap on ; 
Old Socrates a tying his cravat. 
And Hazlitt playing with Miss Edgewonb's Cat ; 
And Junius Brutus, pretty well, so so. 
Making the best of 's way towards Soho. 

Few arc there who escape these vi^tings, — 

Ferhaps one or two whose lives have patetii wings. 
And ihro' whose curtains peeps no hellish nose. 
No wild-boar lushes, and no Mermaid's toes ; 
But flowers bursting out with lusty pride. 
And young £olian harps personified ; 
Some Titian colours touch'd into real life,— 
The sacrifice goes on ; the pontiff knife 
Gleams in the Sun, the milk-white heifer lows. 
The pipes go shrilly, the libation Bows : 
A white sail shows above the green-head diff. 
Moves round the point, and throws her anchor stiff; 
The mariners join hymn with those on land. 



284 POSTHUMOUS POEMS 

You know the enchanted Gistle, — it doth stand 
Upon a rock, on the border of a Lake, 
Nested in trees, which all do seem to shake 
From some old magic-like Urganda*s Sword. 
O Phoebus 1 that I had thy sacred word 
To show this Castle, in fair dreaming wise, 
Unto my friend, while sick and ill he lies 1 

You know it well enough, where it doth seem 
A mossy place, a Merlin's Hall, a dream ; 
You know the clear Lake, and the little Isles, 
The moimtains blue, and cold near neighbour rills, 
All which elsewhere are but half animate ; 
There do they look alive to love and hate. 
To smiles and frowns ; they seem a lifted mound 
Above some giant, pulsing underground. 

Part of the Building was a chosen See, 
Built by a banish'd Santon of Chaldee ; 
The other part, two thousand years from him. 
Was built by Cuthbert de Saint Aldebrim ; 
Then there's a little wing, far from the Sun, 
Built by a Lapland Witch tum'd maudlin Nun ; 
And many other juts of aged stone 
Founded with many a mason-devil's groan. 

The doors all look as if they oped themselves, 
The windows as if latch'd by Fays and Elves, 
And from them comes a silver flash of light. 
As from the westward of a Summer's night ; 
Or like a beauteous woman's large blue eyes 
Gone mad thro' olden songs and poesies. 

See 1 what is coming from the distance dim 1 
A golden Galley all in silken trim 1 
Three rows of oars are lightening, moment whiles. 
Into the verdurous bosoms of those isles ; 
Towards the shade, under the Gistle wall. 
It comes in silence,— now 'tis hidden all. 




jyRITTEN FROM TEIGNMOUTH 

The Gaiion sounds, and fiom a Postem-gate 
An echo of sweet music doth create 
A fear in the pcxir Herdsman, who doth bring 
HU beasts to trouble the enchanted spring, — 
He tells of the sweet music, and the spot. 
To all his friends, and they believe him not. 

O, that our dreamings all, of sleep or wake, 

Would all their colours from the suustt take, 
From something of material sublime, 
R^ither than shadow our own soul's day-time 
In the dark void of nighi. For in the world 
We jostle, — but my flag is not unfuri'd 
On the Admiral-suff,— and so philosophise 
1 dare not vet I Oh, never will the prize, 
High reason, in,l <.h.- lovp if good and ill. 
Be ray .v.- ^ '■'■■■ ■ . -vk-.i to ihc will 
Be settled, but they tease us out of thought ; 
Or is it that imagination brought 
Beyond its proper bound, yet still confined. 
Lost in a son of Purgatory blind, 
Cannot refer to any standard law 
Of dther earth or heaven ? It is a flaw 
In happiness, to see beyond our bourn, — 
It forces us in summer skies to mourn. 
It spcnls the ^ging of the Nightingale. 

Dear Reynolds I I have a mysterious tale. 
And cannot speak it : the first page I read 
Upon a Lampit rock of green sea-weed 
Among the breakers ; 'twas a quiet eve. 
The rocks were silent, the wide sea did weave 
An untumultuous fringe of silver foam 
Along the flat brown sand ; I was at home 
And should have been most happy, — but I saw 
Too &r into the sea, where every maw 
The greater on the less feeds e' 
But I saw too distbct into the ci 



POSTHUMOUS POEMS 

Of ■□ etenul fierce destniaioii, 

And so frocn happiness I far was gone. 

Still am I sick <k it, aod tho', to-d^y, 

Tve gather'd young spring-leaves, and flowen giy 

Of periwinkle and wild strawberry, 

Still do I that most fierce destruction see, — 

The Shark at savage prey, — the Hawk at pottnce,— 

The gentle Robin, like a Pard or Ounce, 

Ravening a Worm, — Away, ye horrid moods I 

Moods c^ one's mind 1 You know I hate them wdl, 

You know Fd sooner be a clapping Bell 

To some Kamichaican Missionary Church, 

Than wiUi these hoirid moods be left i' the larch. 



IN A LETTER TO HAYDON 

HERE all the summer could I stay. 
For there's a Bishop's Teigo, 
And King's Teign, 
And Coomb at the clear Teign's head ; 
Where, dose by the stream. 
You may have your cream. 
All spread upon barley bread. 

There's Arch Brook, 

And there's Larch Brook, 
Both turning many a mill ; 

And cooling the drouth 

Of the salmon's mouth. 
And fattening his silver gill. 

There's a wild wood, 

A mild hood. 
To the sheep on the lea o' the down. 

Where the golden fune. 

With its green, thin spurs. 
Doth catch at the maiden's gown. 

There's Newton Marsh, 

With its spear-grass hiu^— 
A pleasant summer level ; 

Where the maidens sweet 

Of the Market street, 
Do meet in the dark to revel. 



POSTHUMOUS POEMS 

There's BanoD rich. 

With dyke and ditch, 
Add hedge for the thrush to live in ; 

And the hollow tree 

For the buzzing bee, 
And a bank for the wasp to hive in. 

And O and O, 

The dusies blow. 
And the primroses are wafcen'd ; 

And the violets white 

Sit in silver light. 
And the green buds are long in the Sfnke end. 

Then who wonld go 

Into dark Soho, 
And chatter mth dank-hair'd critics, 

When he can stay 

For the new'^nown hay. 
And startle the dappled crickets ? 



FROM THE SAME LETTER TO HAYDON 



Wl 



THERE be you going, you Devon nuiil 

' And wktt have ye there in the buket ? 

Ye tight little Euiy, just fresh from the daily. 

Will ye give me some cream if I ask it? 

1 love your meads, and I lore your dales, 
And I love your junkets mainly, 

Bnt behind the door, 1 love kissing more, 
O look not so divinely. 

1 loTC your hills, and I love your dales, 
And 1 love your flocks a-bleating. 

Bat oh, on the heather to lie together, 
With both our hearts a-beating ! 

Ill put your basket all safe in a nook ; 

Your shawl I'll hang on the willow. 
And we will ^gh in the daisy's eye. 

And kiss on a grass green [ullow. * 



WRin^N ON MAY-DAY 

MOTHER of Hcnnes 1 and stiU youthful Mut I 
May I siag to thee 
As thou wast hymned on the shores of Baix ? 

Or may I woo thee 
Id eadier Sicilian ? or thy smiles 
Seek as they once were sought, b Grecian isles, 
By bards who died content on pleasant swaid. 
Leaving great verse unto a little dan ? 
O, give me their old vigour, and unheard 
Save of the quiet Primrose, and the spaa 

Of heaven and few ears, 
Rounded by thee, my song should die away 

Content as theirs. 
Rich in the ^mple woislup of a day. 




MEG MERRIUES 

OLD MEG she wu a gipsy, 
And lived upon the moors ; 
Her bed it wu the brown heath turf. 

And her bouse was out of doors. 
Her apples were swart blackberries, 

Her currants, pods o' broom ; 
Her wine was dew of the wild white rose. 
Her book a church-yard tomb. 

Her brothers were the craggy hills, 

Her sisters Urchen trees ; 
Alone with her great family 

She lived as she did please. 
No breakfast had she many a mora, 

No dinner many a noon, 
And, 'stead of supper, she would stare 

Full hard against the moon. 

But every mom, of woodbine fresh 

She made her garlanding, 
And, every night, the dark glen yew 

She wove, and she would sing. 
And with her fingers, old and brown. 

She plaited mats of rushes. 
And gave them to the cottagers 

She met among the bushes. 



292 



POSTHUMOUS POEMS 



Old Meg was brave as Margaret C2}ieen, 

And tall as Amazon ; 
An old red blanket cloak she wore, 

A ship-hat had she on : 
God rest her aged bones somewhere 1 

She died full long agone 1 



WJLKING JN SCDTUyJD 

THERE is a chann in footing slow across a silent plain, 
Where patriot battle had been fought, where ^ory had the gain ; 
Hiere is a pleasure on the heath, where Druids old have been, 
Where mantles gray have rustled by, and swept the nettled green ; 
There is a joy in every spot made known in times of old. 
New to the feet altho' each tale a hundred limes be told ; 
There is a deeper joy than all, mon; solemn in the heart, 
More parching to tbe tongue than all, of more divine a snian, 
When weary steps forget themselves upon a pleasant turf, 
Upon hot sand, or flinty road, or sea-shore iron surf, 
Toward the castle or the cot, where long ago was bom 
One who was great through mortal days, and died of fame unshorn. 

Light heather-bells may tremble then, — but they are far away ; 
Wood-lark may sing from sandy fern,— the Sun may hear his lay ; 
Runnels may kiss the grass on shelves and shallows clear, — 
But their low voices are not heard, tho' come on travels drear ; 
Blood<red the Sun may set behind black mountain peaks. 
Blue tides may sluice and drench their time in caves and weedy creeks. 
Eagles may seem to sleep wing-wide upon tlie air. 
Ring-doves may fly convulsed across to sonic high cedar'd lair, — . 
But the forgotten eye is still fast lidded to ihe ground. 
As Palmer's that with weariness mid-desert shrine haih found. 



At such a time the soul's a child, in childhood is the brain, 
Forgonea is the worldly heart,— alone, it beats in vain I 
Ay, if a madman cotild have leave to pass a healthful day, 
To tell his forehead's swoon and faint, when first began decay. 



294 POSTHUMOUS POEMS 

He might make tremble many a one, whose spirit had gone fbith 
To find a Bard's low cradle-place about the silent north I 

Scanty the hour, and few the steps, beyond the bourn of care, 
Beyond the sweet and bitter world, — beyond it unaware I 
Scanty the hour, and few the steps, — borause a longer stay 
Would bar return and make a man forget his mortal way 1 
O horrible I to lose the sight of well-remember'd face, 
Of Brother's eyes, of Sister's brow, — constant to every place. 
Filling the air as on we move with portraiture intense. 
More warm than those heroic tints diat pain a painter's sense, 
When shapes of old come striding by, and visages of old. 
Locks shining black, hair scanty gray, and passions manifold I 

No, no,— that horror cannot be I for at the cable's length 
Man feels the gentle anchor pull, and gladdens in its strength : 
One hour, half idiot, he stands by mossy waterfall, 
But in the very next he reads his soul's memorial ; 
He reads it on the mountain's height, where chance he may sit down. 
Upon rough marble diadem, that hill's eternal crown. 
Yet be his anchor e'er so fast, room is there for a prayer, 
That man may never lose his mind in mountains black and bare; 
Tliat he may stray, league after league, some great birthplace to find, 
And keep his vision clear from speck, his inward sight unblind. 






NOT Aladdin magian 
Ever such a work began , 
Not the wliard of the Dee 
Ever such a dream could see ; 
Not St. John, in Paimos' isle, 
In the passion of his toil, 
When he saw the churches seven, 
Golden nisled, built up in heaven. 
Gazed at such a rugged wonder I— 
As I stood its roofing under, 
Lo 1 1 saw one sleeping there, 
On the marble cold and bare ; 
Wliile the surges wash'd his feet, 
And hb gannenis white did beat 
Drench'd about the sombre rocks ; 
On his neck his well-grawn locks. 
Lilted dry above the main, 
Were upon the ciu'l again. 
" What is this f and what an thou ? " 
Whisper'd I, and touch'd his brow ; 
' ' What art thou ? and what is this ? " 
Whisper'd I, and strove to kiss 
The spirit's hand, to wake his eyes ; 
Up he started in a trice : 
" I am Lycidas," said he, 
" Famed in fiineral minstrelsy I 
This was architectured thus 
By the great Oceanus I— 



POSTHUMOUS POEMS 

Here his mighty waters play 
Hollow organs all the day ; 
Here, by turns, his dolphins all. 
Finny palmers, great and small, 
Come to pay devotion due, — 
Each a mouth of pearls must strew I 
Many a mortal of these days. 
Dares to pass our sacred ways ; 
Dates to touch, audaciously, 
This cathedral of the sea ! 
I have been the pontiff-priest. 
Where the waters never rest. 
Where a fledgy sea-bird choir 
Soars for ever I Holy fire 
I have hid from mortal man ; 
Proteus is my Sacristan I 
But the dulled eye of mortal 
Hath pass'd beyond the rocky portal ; 
So for ever will I leave 
Such a taint, and soon unweave 
All the magic of the place." 
So saying, with a Spirit's gtanoe 
He dived I 




A PROPHECY 
To hit brother Gtorge in America 

TIS the wilching hour of nighi, 
Orbed is Ihe moon and bright. 
And tlie siars they glisten, gUsten, 
Seeming with bright ej'es to listen — 

For what listen they ? 
For a Ming and for a charm. 
See they gli5ien in alarm. 
And tlii; moon is waxing warm 

To hear wli:il 1 shall say. 

Moon I keep wide thy golden ears — 
Hearken, suis I and hearken, spheres I— 
Hearken, thou eternal sky I 
1 ung an infant's lullaby. 

A pretty lullaby, 
listen, listen, listen, listen. 
Glisten, glisten, glisten, glisten. 

And bear my lullaby I 
Though the rushes that will make 
Its cradle still are in the lake— 
Though the linen that will be 
Its swathe, is on the cotton tree — 
Though the woollen that will keep 
It warm, is on the silly sheep — 
Listen, starlight, listen, listen. 
Glisten, glisten, glisten, glisten, 

And heax my lullaby I 



POSTHUMOUS POEMS 

Child, I see thee I ChUd, I've found th« 
Midst of the quiet all around thee I 
Quid, I see thee I Child, I spy thee I 
And thy mother sweet is nigh thee I 
Child, I know thee I Child no oiore. 
But a poet evermore I 



Upon the little cradle's top 
Flaring, flaring, flaring. 
Past the eyesight's bearing. 
Awake it from its sleep, 
And see if it can keep 
Its eyes upon the blaze- 
It stares, it stares, it stares. 
It daies what no one dares I 
It lifts its little hand into the flan 
Unharm'd, and on the strings 
Paddles a little tune, and sings. 
With dumb endeavour sweetly— 
Bard art thou completely I 

Little child 

O' the western wild. 
Bard art thou completely I 
Sweetly with dumb endeavour, 
A poet now or never, 

Little child 

O' the western wild, 
A poet now or never I 



SONG 

IN a drear-nighted Dwember, 
Too happy, happy tree. 
Thy branches ne'er remember 
Their green lelidty : 
The nonb cannot undo them 
With a sleety whistle through tbem ; 
Nor frozen thawings glue them 
From buddii^ at the prime. 

Id a drear-nighted December, 
Too happy, happy brook. 
Thy bubblings ne'er remember 
Apollo's summer look ; 
But with a sweet forgetting. 
They stay their crystal fretting. 
Never, never petting 
About the frozen time. 

Ah I would 'twete so with many 
A gentle girl and boy I 
But were there ever any 
Writhed not at passM joy ? 
To know the change and feel it. 
When there is none to heal it 
Nor numbed sense to steal it. 
Was never said in rhyme. 



FAERY SONG 

SHED no tear ! 1 shed no tear 1 
The flower will bloom another year. 
Weep no more I O I weep no more I 
Young buds sleep in the root's white core. 
Dry your eyes I 1 dry your eyes I 
For I was taught in Paradise 
To ease my breast of melodies — 

Shed no tear. 

Overhead I look overhead 1 
'Mong the blossoms white and red — 
Look up, look up. I flutter now 
On this flush pomegranate bough. 
See me 1 'tis this silvery bill 
Ever cures the good man's ill. 
Shed no tear 1 O 1 shed no tear ! 
The flower will bloom another year. 
Adieu, Adieu 1 — I fly, adieu, 
I vanish in the heaven's blue — 

Adieu, Adieu 1 



^^^^ACTS 



Mont ^f ** *<«k should ttaTn^' . 

.^'«-»y upon the t«S,1S 
^Ue sun, with his or. 

J»i>yeachp4y^«««. 
,^d When tbeZhT- °'" «^ J 



302 POSTHUMOUS POEMS 



SOXG 

The stranger lighted from his steed. 

And ere he spake a word, 
He seized my lady's lily hand« 

And kiss'd it all unheard. 

The stranger walk*d into the hall. 

And ere he spake a word. 
He kiss*d my lady's cherry lips. 

And kiss'd 'em all unheard. 

The stranger walk'd into the bower, — 

But my lady first did go, — 
Ay hand in hand into the bower, 

Where my lord's roses blow. 

My lady's maid had a silken scart, 

And a golden ring had she, 

And a kiss from the stranger, as off he went 

Again on his fair palfrey. 
• • • • # 

Asleep 1 O sleep a little while, white pearl 1 
And let me kneel, and let me pray to thee. 
And let me call Heaven's blessing on thine eyes, 
And let me breathe into the happy air. 
That doth enfold and touch thee all about. 
Vows of my slavery, my giving up. 
My sudden adoration, my great love I 




LA BELLE DAME SANS MERCI 

A BALLAD 

**(^\ WHAT can ail thee, knight-at-arms, 
^^ Alone and palely loitering ? 
The sedge has withered from the lake, 
And no birds sing. 

'* O what can ail thee, knight-at-arms 1 
So haggard and so woe-begone ? 
The squirrel's granary is full^ 
And the harvest 's done. 

'* I sec a lily on thy brow 

With anguish moist and fever dew, 
And on thy cheeks a fading rose 
Fast withereth too." 

'* I met a lady in the meads, 

Full beautiful — a faer/s child, 
Her hair was long, her foot was light. 
And her eyes were wild. 

*' I made a garland for her head. 

And bracelets too, and fragrant zone ; 
She look'd at me as she did love. 
And made sweet moan. 



POSTHUMOUS POEMS 

" I set her oa my pacing steed, 

Aad aothing else saw all day long. 
For sidelong would she bead, and sing 
A faery's song. 

" She fouDd me roots of relish sweet. 
And honey wild, and manna dew. 
And sure in language strange she said— 
'I love thee true.' 

" She took me to her elfin grot. 

And there she wept, and sigh'd full sore, 
And there I shut her wild wild eyes 
With kisses four. 

" And there she lulled me asleep, 

And there I dream'd — Ah 1 woe betide i 
The latest dream I ever dream'd 
On the cold hill's side. 

" I saw pale kings and princes too. 

Pale warriOTS, death-pale were they all ; 
They ciied— ' La Belle Dame sans Metu 
Hath thee in thrall 1 ' 



" I saw their starved lips in the gloam. 
With horrid warning gaped wide. 
And I awoke and found me here, 
On the cold hill's side. 

" And this is why 1 sojourn here. 
Alone and palely loitering. 
Though the sedge is withei'd firom the b 
And no birds ung." 




ODE ON INDOLENCE 
They toil not, luithtr do tb^ tpin 

ONE room before me were three figures seen. 
With bowed necks, and joined hands, side-faced ; 
And one behind the other stepp'd serene, 

la placid sandals, and in white robes graced ; 

'Hiey pass'd, like figures on a maible um, 
When shifted round to see the other side ; 
They came again ; as when the um once more 
Is shifted round, the first seen shades return ; 
And they were strange to me, as may betide 
With vases, to one deep in Phidian lore. 

How is it, Shadows I that I knew ye not ? 

How came ye muffled in so hush a mask? 
Was it a silent deep-disguised plot 

To steal away, and leave without a task 
My idle days ? Ripe was the drowsy hour ; 

The blissful cloud of summer-indoleoce ' 
Benumb'd my eyes ; my pulse grew less and less ; 

Pain had no sting, and pleasure's wreath no flower : 

O, why did ye not melt, and leave my sense 
Unhaunied quite of all but — nothingness ? 

A third time pass'd they by, and, passing, tum'd 
Each one the (ace a moment whiles to me ; 



3o6 POSTHUMOUS POEMS 

Then faded, and to follow them I bum'd, 

And ached for wings, because I knew the three ; 
The first was a fair Maid, and Love her name ; 
The second was Ambition, pale of cheek. 
And ever watchful with fatigued eye ; 

The last, whom I love more, the more of blame 
Is heap'd upon her, maiden most unmeek, — 
I knew to be my demon Poesy. 

They faded, and, forsooth 1 I wanted wings : 

O folly 1 What is Love ? and where is it ? 
And for that poor Ambition 1 it springs 

From a man's little heart's short fever-fit ; 
For Poesy I — no, — she has not a joy, — 

At least for me, — so sweet as drowsy noons, 
And evenings steep'd in honey'd indolence ; 
O, for an age so sheker'd from annoy. 

That I may never know how change the moons, 
Or hear the voice of busy common-sense I 

And once more came they by ; — alas 1 wherefore ? 

My sleep had been embroider'd with dim dreams ; 
My soul had been a lawn besprinkled o'er 

With flowers, and stirring shades, and baffled beams : 
The mom was clouded, but no shower fell, 

Tho' in her lids hung the sweet tears of May ; 
The open casement press'd a new-leaved vine, 

Let in the budding warmth and throstle's lay ; 
O Shadows 1 'twas a time to bid farewell 1 
Upon your skirts had fallen no tears of mine. 

So, ye three Ghosts, adieu I Ye cannot raise 
My head cool-bedded in the flowery grass ; 

For I would not be dieted with praise, 
A pet-lamb in a sentimental farce ! 



ODE ON INDOLENCE 



307 



Fade softly from my eyes, and be once more 
In masque-like figures on the dreamy urn ; 
Farewell 1 I yet have visions for the night, 

And for the day faint visions there is store ; 
Vanish, ye Phantoms 1 from my idle spright, 
Into the douds, and never more return 1 



A. 



X 2 



THE EVE OF ST. MARK 

UPON 1 Sabbath-day h feU ; 
Twice hoty was the Sabbath-bell, 
That call'd the folk to evening prayer ; 
The dty streets were clean and £iir 
From wholesome drench of April ndiu ; 
Aod, on the western window panes, 
The chilly sunset faintly told 
Of unmatured green, ^lies cold, 
Of the green thorny bloomless hedge, 
Of rivers new with spring-tide sedge. 
Of primroses by shelier'd rills, 
And daisies on the aguish hills. 
Twice holy was the Sabbath-beU : 
The silent streets were crowded well 
With staid and pious companies, 
Warm from their fire-side orat'ries ; 
And moving, with demurest air. 
To even-song, and vesper prayer. 
Each arched porch, and entry low. 
Was fiU'd wiUi patient folk and slow, 
With whispers hush, and shufRing feet. 
While play'd the organ loud and sweet. 

The bells had ceased, the prayers begun, 
And Bertha had not yet half done 
A curious volume, patch'd and tom. 



THE EVE OF ST. MARK 

That all day long, from earliest mom, 
Had taken captive her two eyes. 
Among its golden broideries ; 
Perplex'd her witt a thousand things,— 
TTie stars of Heaven, and angels' wings, 
Martyrs in a fiery blaze, 
Aiurc saints and silver rays, 
Moses' breastplate, and the seven 
Candlesticks John saw in Heaven, 
The winged Lion of Saint Mark, 
And the 0>venantal Ark, 
With its many mysteries. 
Cherubim and golden mice, 

Bertha was a maiden lair. 

Dwelling in the old Minster-square; 
From her fire-side she could see. 
Sidelong, its rich antiquity. 
Far as the Bishop's gardes-wall ; 
Where sycamores and elm- trees tall, 
FuU-leaved, the forest bad ootstripl, 
By no sharp north-wind ever nipt. 
So shelter'd by the mighty pile. 
Bertha arose, and read awhile. 
With forehead 'gainst the window-pane. 
Again she tried, and then again, 
Until the dusk eve left her darit 
Upon the legend of Saint Mark. 
From plaited lawn-fHll, fine and thin. 
She lilted up her soft warm chin. 
With aching neck and swimming eyes, 
And dazed with saintly imageries. 

All was gloom, and silent all, 
Save now and then the still foot-fsll 
Of one returning homewards late, 
Past the echoing miiister.gate. 
The clamorous daws, that all the day 



POSTHUMOUS POEMS 

Above tree-tops and towers play. 
Pail by pair had gone to rest. 
Each io its andent bd&y-nest. 
Where asleep they faH betimes. 
To music and the drawsy chimes. 

All was silent, all was gloom. 
Abroad and in the homely room : 
Down she sat, poor cheated soul I 
And struck a lamp from the dismal coal ; 
Lean'd forward, with bright drooping hair 
And slant book, full against the glare. 
Her shadow, in uneasy guise, 
Hover'd about, a giant size, 
On ceiling-beam and old oak duur, 
"Die parrot's cage, and panel square ; 
And the wami angled winter-screen. 
On which were many monsters seen, 
Call'd doves of Siam, Lima mice. 
And legless birds of Paradise, 
Macaw, and tender Av'davat, 
And silken-fiuT'd Angora cat. 
Untired she read, her shadow still 
Glower'd about, as it would fill 
The room with wildest forms and shades. 
As though some ghostly queen of spades 
Had come to mock behind her back, 
And dance, and ruffle her garments black. 
Untired she read the legend page, 
Of holy Mark, from youth to age. 
On land, on sea, in pagan chains. 
Rejoicing for his many pains. 
Sometimes the learned eremite, 
With golden star, or dagger bright, 
Referr'd to pious poesies 
Written in smallest crow-quill size 
Beneath the text ; and thus the rhyme 
Was parcell'd out from time to time : 



THE EFE OF ST. MARK 



" Ab wiitith he of s\ 

Men han befome they wake in bliss, 
Whanne that hir friendes thinlte him bound 
la crimped shroude farre under grounde \ 
And how a lithng child mote be 

Gif that the modre (God her blesse I) 

Kepen in solitarinesse, 

And kissen devoute the holy croce. 

Of Goddes love, and Sathan's force, — 

He writith ; and thinges many mo 

Of swiche thinges I may not shew. 

Bot I must tellea verilie 

Somdel of Sainti Cicilie, 

And cbieflie what he auaorethe 

Of Saints Marliis life and dethc ; " 



At length her constant eyelids c< 
Upon the fervent martyrdom ; 
Then lastly to his holy shrine, 
Exalt amid the tapers' shine 
At Venice, — 



HYPERION. A VISION 

THE FIRST VERSION OF THE POEM 
CANTO I 

FANATICS have their dreams, wherewith they weave 
A paradise for a sect ; the savage, too. 
From forth the loftiest fashion of his sleep 
Guesses at heaven ; pity these have not 
Traced upon vellum or wild Indian leaf 
The shadows of melodious utterance. 
But bare of laurel they live, dream, and die ; 
For Poesy alone can tell her dreams, — 
With the fine spell of words alone can save 
Imagination from the sable chain ^^ 

And dumb enchantment. Who alive can say, 
** Thou art no Poet — mayst not tell thy dreams? " 
Since every man whose soul is not a clod 
Hath visions and would speak, if he had loved, 
And been well nurtured in his mother tongue. 
Whether the dream now purposed to rehearse 
Be poet's or fanatic's will be known 
When this warm scribe, my hand, is in the grave. 

Methought I stood where trees of ever}' clime, 
Palm, myrtle, oak, and sycamore, and beech, ^ 

With plantain and spice-blossoms, made a screen. 
In neighbourhood of fountains (by the noise 
Soft-showering in mine cars) and (by the touch 
Of scent) not far from roses. Twining round 
I saw an arbour witli a drooping roof 



THE FIRST VERSION OF HYPERION 3 1 3 

Of trellis vines, and bells, and larger blooms, 

Like floral censers, swinging light in air ; 

Before its wreathed doorway, on a mound 

Of moss, was spread a feast of summer fruits. 

Which, nearer seen, seemM refuse of a meal 30 

By angel tasted or our Mother Eve ; 

For empty shells were scattered on the grass. 

And grapestalks but half-bare, and remnants more 

Sweet-smelling, whose pure kinds I could not know. 

Still was more plenty than the fabled horn 

Thrice emptied could pour forth at banqueting. 

For Proserpine retum*d to her own fields. 

Where the white heifers low. And appetite. 

More yearning than on earth I ever felt. 

Growing within, I ate deliciously, — 40 

And, after not long, thirsted ; for thereby 

Stood a cool vessel of transparent juice 

Sipp*d by the wander*d bee, the which I took. 

And pledging all the mortals of the world, 

And all the dead whose names are in our lips. 

Drank. That full draught is parent of my dieme. 

No Asian poppy nor elixir fine 

Of the soon-fading, jealous Gdiphat, 

No poison gendered in close monkish cell, 

To thin the scarlet conclave of old men, 50 

Could so have rapt unwilling life away. 

Among the fragrant husks and berries crush'd 

Upon the grass, I struggled hard against 

The domineering potion, but in vain. 

The cloudy swoon came on, and down I sank. 

Like a Silenus on an antique vase. 

How long I slumber'd 'tis a chance to guess. 

When sense of life retum'd I started up. 

As if with wings, but the fair trees were gone. 

The mossy mound and arbour were no more : 60 

I look'd around upon the curved sides 

Of an old sanctuary, with roof august, 

Builded so high, it seem*d that filmed clouds 



POSTHUMOUS POEUS 

Might spread hcntuh n o'er ibc Ran of henctt. 

So bid the place wu, I lemeinber'ii oooc 

The like apon the earth : vhat I bad seen 

Of gray c^bedrah, bnttress'd walk, rem to^KO, 

The Mjpcrannuaiioru of wink realiiK, 

Or Nature's rocks toil'd hard in waves and win^ 

Scirm'd but the taulture of dccrepn things 

To that etenul domed moniunein. 

Upon the matbte at my feet there lay 

Store o( strange vessels and lai^ draperies. 

Which needs had been of dyed asbestos wove. 

Or in that place the moth could not comqK, 

So white the linen, so, in some, distina 

Ran inugencs from a sombre loom. 

All in a mingled heap confused there lay 

Robes, golden tongs, censer and chafing-dish. 

Girdles, and chains, and b<riy jewelries. 

TumiDg from these with awe, once more I raised 
My eyes to fathom the space every way : 
The embossed roof, the silent massy rai^ 
Of columns nonh and south, ending in mist 
Of nothing ; then to eastward, where black gates 
Were shut agaitist the sunrise evermore ; 
Then to the west I look'd, and saw far oB 
An image, huge of feature as a cloud. 
At level of whose feet an altar slept. 
To be approach'd on either »de 1^ steps 
And marble balustrade, and patient travail 
To count with toil the innumerable degrees. 
Towards the altar sober-paced I went. 
Repressing haste as too unholy there ; 
And, coming nearer, saw beside the shrine 
One ministering ; and there arose a flame. 
When in midday the sickening east-wind 
Shifts sudden to the south, the small warm rain 
Melts out the frozen incense from all flowers. 
And fills the air with so much pleasant health 



THE FIRST VERSION OF HYPERION 

That even the dying man forgets his shroud ; — 

Even so that lof^ sacrifidal (ire, 

Sending forth Maian incense, spread around 

Forgetfulness of everything but bliss. 

And clouded all the altar with soft smoke ; 

From whose white fragrant curtains thus I heard 

Laiigtiage pronounced : "If thou canst not ascend 

These steps, die on that marble where thou art. 

Thy flesh, near cousin to the common dust. 

Will parch for lack of nutriment ; thy bones 

Will wither in lew years, and vanish so 

That not the quickest eye could find a grain 

Of what thou now ait on that pavement cold. 

The sands of thy short life are spent this hour. 

And no hand in the universe can turn 

Thy hourglass, if these gummed leaves be burnt 

Ere thou canst mount up these immortal Steps." 

I heard, I took'd ; two senses both at once. 

So fine, so subtle, felt the tyranny 

Of that fierce threat and the hard task proposed. 

Prodigious seem'd the toil ; the leaves were yet 

Buining, when suddenly a palsied chill 

Struck from the paved level up my hmbs, 

And was ascending quick to put cold grasp 

Upon those streams that pulse beude the throat. 

I shriek' d, and the sharp anguish of my shriek 

Stung my own ears ; I strove hard to escape 

The numbness, strove to gain the lowest step. 

Slow, heavy, deadly was my pace ; the cold 

Grew stifling, suffocating at the heart ; 

And when 1 dasp'd my hands I felt them not. 

One minute before death my iced foot louch'd 

The lowest stair ; and, as it toucb'd, life seem'd 

To pour in at the toes ; I mounted up 

As once lair angels on a ladder flew 

From the green tuif to heaven. " Holy Power," 

Cried 1, approaching near the homed shriiw, 

" What am I that should so be saved from death 7 




316 POSTHUMOUS POEMS 

What ain I that .mother death come not 

To choke my utterance, sacrilegious, here ? " 140 

Then said the veiled shadow : ^* Thou hast felt 

What 'tis to die and live again before 

Thy fated hour ; that thou hadst power to do so 

Is thine own safety ; thou hast dated on 

Thy doom." " High Prophetess," said I, ** purge off. 

Benign, if so it please thee, my mind's film." 

" None can usurp this height," returned that shade, 

** But those to whom the miseries of the world 

Are misery, and will not let them rest. 

All else who find a haven in the world, 150 

Where they may thoughtless sleep away their days. 

If by a chance into this fane they come. 

Rot on the pavement where thou rottedst half." 

'* Are there not thousands in the world," said I, 

Encouraged by the sooth voice of the shade, 

" Who love their fellows even to the death. 

Who feel the giant agony of the world. 

And more, like slaves to poor humanity. 

Labour for mortal good ? I sure should see 

Other men here, but I am here alone." 160 

'* Those whom thou spakest of are no visionaries," 

Rejoin*d that voice ; ^* they are no dreamers weak ; 

They seek no wonder but the human face. 

No music but a happy-noted voice : 

They come not here, they have no thought to come ; 

And thou art here, for thou art less than they. 

What benefit canst thou do, or all thy tribe, 

To the great world ? Thou art a dreaming thing, 

A fever of thyself : think of the earth : 

What bliss, even in hope, is there for thee ? 170 

What haven ? every creature hath its home, 

Every sole man hath days of joy and pain. 

Whether his labours be sublime or low — 

The pain alone, the joy alone, distinct : 

Only the dreamer venoms all his days. 

Bearing more woe than all his sins deserve. 



THE FIRST VERSION OF HYPERION 

Therefore, that happiness be somewhat shared. 
Such things as thou art are admitted oft 
Into like gardens thou didst pass erewhile. 
And sufTer'd in these temples : for that cause 
Thou standest safe beneath this statue's knees." 
" That I am (avour'd for unwoithiness. 
By such propitious parley medidned 
In sickness not ignoble, I rejoice. 
Ay, and could weep for love of such award." 
So answer'd 1, continuing, " If it please, 
Majestic shadow, tell me where I am. 
Whose altar this, for whom thb incense curis ; 
What image this whose &ce I cannot see 
For the broad marble knees ; and who thou art, 
Of accent feminine, so courteous f " 

Then the tall shade, in drooping linen veil'd. 
Spoke out, so much more earnest, that her breath 
Stirr'd the thin folds of game that drooping hung 
About a golden censer from her hand 
Pendent ; and by her voice I knew she shed 
Long-treasured tears. " This temple, sad and lone. 
Is all spared firom the thunder of a war 
Foughten long since by giant hierarchy 
Against rebellion : this old image here. 
Whose carved features wrinkled as he fell. 
Is Sattmi's ; I, Moneta, left supreme. 
Sole goddess of this desolation." 
I had no words to answer, for my tongue. 
Useless, could Had about its roofed home 
No syllable of a fh majesty 
To make rejoinder to Moneta's mourn : 
There was a silence, while the altar's blaze 
Was fainting for sweet food. I look'd thereon. 
And on the paved Hoor, where nigh were piled 
Faggots of ciniuunon, and many heaps 
Of other crisped spicewood : then again 
I look'd upon the altar, and its homs 
Whiten'd with ashes, and its languorous flame. 




POSTHVMOUS POEMS 

And then upon the oflerings again ; 

And so, by turns, till sad Moneta cried : 

" The sacrifice is done, but not the less 

Will I be kind to thee for thy good will. 

My power, which to me is still a curse. 

Shall be to thee i. wonder, for the scenes 

Still swooning vivid through my globed brain. 

With an electral changing misery, 

Thou shalt with these dull mortal eye$ behold 

Free from all pain, if wonder pain thee not." 

As near as an immortal's sphered words 

Could to a mother's soften were these last : 

And yet I had a terror of her robes, 

And chiefly of the veils that from her brow 

Hung pale, and curtain'd her in mysteries, 

lliat made my heart too small to hold its blood. 

This saw that Goddess, and with sacred hand 

Parted the veils. Then saw I a wan Eice, 

Not pined by human sorrows, but bright-blanch'd 

By an immoital sickness which kills not ; 

It works a constant change, which happy death 

Can put no ead to ; deathwards progressing 

To no death was that visage ; it had past 

The lily and the snow ; and beyond diese 

I must not think now, though 1 saw that £ice. 

But for her eyes I should have fled away ; 

They held me back with a benignant light. 

Soft, mitigated by divinest Uds 

Half-closed, and visionless entire they seem'd 

Of all external things ; they saw me not. 

But in blank splendour beam'd, like the mild moon. 

Who comforts those she sees not, who knows not 

What eyes are upward cast. As I had found 

A grain of gold upon a mountain's side, 

And, twinged widi avarice, strain'd out my eyes 

To search its sullen entrails rich with ore. 

So, at the view of sad Moneta's brow, 

I ask'd to see what things the hollow brow 

Behind environ'd : what high tragedy 



THE FIRST VERSION OF HYPERION 

In the dark secret chambers of her skull 

Was acting, (hat could give so dread a stress 

To her cold lips, and (ill with such a light 

Her planetary eyes, and touch her voice 

With such a sorrow? "Shade of Memory! " 

Cried I, with act adorant at her feet, 

'* By all the gloom hung round thy fallen houK, 

By this last temple, by the golden age. 

By great Apollo, thy dear foster-child. 

And by thyself, foriom divinity, 

TTie pale Omega of a wither'd race, 

Let me behold, according as thou saidst, 

What in thy brain so ferments to and tro I " 

No sooner had this conjuration past 

My devout lips, than side by side we stood 

(like a stunt bramble by a solemn pine) 

Deep in the shady sadness of a vale 

Far sunken from the healthy breath of mora, 

Far from the fiery noon and eve's one star. 

Onward I look'd beneath the gloomy boughs, 

And saw what first I thought an image huge, 

Like to the image pedestal'd so high 

In Saturn's temple ; then Moneta's voice 

Came brief upon mine ear. " So Saturn sat 

When he had lost his realms ; " whereon there grew 

A power within me of enormous kea 

To see as a god sees, and take the depth 

Of things as nimbly as the outward eye 

Can ^e and shape pervade. The lofty theme 

Of those (ew words hung vast before my mind 

With half-unravelt'd web. I sat myself 

Upon an eagle's watch, that I might see, 

And seeing ne'er forget. No stir of life 

Was in this shrouded vale, — not so much air 

As in the zoning of a summer's day 

Robs not one light seed from the feather'd grass ; 

But where the dead leaf fell there did it rest. 

A stream went noiseless by, still deaden'd more 



POSTHUMOUS POEMS 

By reason of the fallen divinity 

Spreading more shade ; the Naiad 'mid her reeds 

Prest her cold finger closer to her lips. 

Along the ma^in-sand Urge foot-marks went 
No further than to where old Saturn's feet 
Had rested, and there slept how long a sleep I 
Degraded, cold, upon the sodden ground 
His old right hand lay nerveless, listless, dead, 
Unsceptred, and bis realnUess eyes were dosed ; 
While his bow'd bead seem'd listening to the Earth, 
His ancient mother, for some comfort yet. 

It seem'd no force could wake him from bb ^ace ; 
But there came one who, with a kindred hand, 
Touch'd his wide shoulders, after bending low 
With reverence, though to one who knew it not. 
Then came the grieved voice of Mnemosyne, 
And grieved I hearken'd. " That divinity 
Whom thou saVst step from yon fodomest wood. 
And with slow pace approach our fallen king. 
Is Thea, softest-natured of our brood." 
1 marii'd the Goddess, in fair statuary 
Surpassing wan Moneta by the head. 
And in her sorrow nearer woman's tears. 
There was a listening fear in her regard. 
As if calamity had but b^un ; 
As if the venom'd clouds of evil days 
Had spent their malice, and the sullen rear 
Was with its stored thunder labouring up. 
One hand she press'd upon that aching spot 
Where beats the human heart, as if just there, 
Hiough an immortal, she felt cruel pain ; 
The other upon Saturn's bended neck 
She laid, and to the level of his ear 
Leaning, with parted lips some words she spoke 
In solenm tenour and deep organ-tone ; 
Some mourning words, which in our feeble tongue 
Would come in this like accenting ; how firail 
To that targe utterance of the early gods I 
" Saturn, look up I and for what, poor lost king ? 



THE FIRST FESSION OF HYPERION 

I have no comfort for thee ; no, not one ; 
I cannot My, wherefore thus steepest thou ? 
For Heaven is parted fnun thee, and the Earth 
Knows thee not, so afflicted, for a god. 
The Ocean, too, with a]l its solemn noise. 
Has from thy sceptre pass'J ; and all the air 
Is emptied of thy hoary majesty. 
Thy thunder, captious at the new command. 
Rumbles reluctant o'er our fallen house ; 
And thy sharp lightning, in unpraaised hands, 
Scourges and bums our once serene domain. 
With such remorseless speed still come new woes, 
That unbelief has not a space lo breathe. 
Saturn I sleep on : me thoughtless, why should I 
Thus violate thy slumbrous solitude ? 
Why should I ope lliy melancholv eves ? 
Saturn ! sleep on, while at thy feet I weep." 

As when upon a tranced summer-night 
Forests, branch-charmed by the earnest stars, 
Dream, and so dream all night without a noise, 
Save from one gradual solitary gust 
Swelling upon die silence, dying off. 
As if the ebbing air had but one wave. 
So came these words and went ; the while in tears 
She prest her fair large forehead to the earth. 
Just where her fallen hair might spread in curls 
A soft and silken net for Saturn's feel. 
Long, long these two were postured motionless, 
like sculpture builded-up upon the grave 
Of their own power. A long awful time 
I loolc'd upon them : still they were the same ; 
The firozen God still bending to the earth, 
And the sad Goddess weeping at his feet ; 
Moneta silent. Without stay or prop 
But my own weak mortality, I bore 
The load of this etemal quietude. 
The unchanging gloom and the three fixed shapes 
Ponderous upon my senses, a whole moon ; 



POSTHUMOUS POEMS 

For by my burning brain I measured sure 

Her silver seasons sheddcd on the night. 
And every day by day methoughl I grew 
More gaunt and ghostly. Oftentimes I prayd 
Intense, that death would take me from the vak 
And all its burthens ; gasping with despair 
Of change, hour alter hour I cursed myself. 
Until old Saturn raised his faded eyes. 
And loolf'd around and saw his kingdom gone. 
And all the gloom and sorrow of the place. 
And that fait kneeling Goddess at his feet. 

As the moist scent of flowers, and grass, and leaves, 
Fills forest-dells with a pervading air. 
Known to the woodland nostril, so the words 
Of Saturn fill'd the mossy glooms around. 
Even to the hollows of time-eaten oaks. 
And to the windings of the foxes' hole. 
With sad, low tones, while thus he spoke, and sent 
Strange meanings to the solitary Fan. 
" Moan, brethren, moan, for we are swallow'd up 
And buried from ail godlike exercise 
Of influence benign on planets pale, 
And peaceful sway upon man's harvesting, 
And all those acts which Deity supreme 
Doth ease its heart of love in. Moan and wail ; 
Moan, brethren, moan ; for lo, the rebel spheres 
Spin round ; the stars their ancient courses keep ; 
Qouds still with shadowy mobture haunt the earth. 
Still suck their fill of light fibm sun and moon ; 
Still buds the tree, and still the seashores murmur ; 
There is no death m all the universe, 
Ko smell of death. — There shall be death. Moan, moa 
Moan, Cybele, moan ; for thy pernicious babes 
Have changed a god into an aching palsy. 
Moan, brethren, moan, for I have no strength ]e&; 
Weak as the reed, weak, feeble as my voice. 
Oh I oh I the pain, the pain of feebleness ; 
Moan, moan, for still I thaw ; or give me help ; 
Throw down those imps, and give me victory. 



THE FIRSJ VERSION OF HYPERION 

Let me hear other groans, and trumpets blown 
Of triuniph calm, and hjrmns of festival. 

From the gold peaks of heaven's high-piled clouds ; 

Voices of soft pradaim, and silver stir 

Of Strings in hoUow shells ; and there shall be 

Beamiful things made new, (or ilie surprise 

Of the sky-children." So he feebly ceased. 

With such a poor and sickly-sounding piuse, 

Meihought I heard some old man of the eanh 

Bewailing eartlily loss ; not could my eyes 

And ears act with thai unison of sense 

Which marries sweet sound with the grace of form, 

And dolorous accetit from a tragic harp 

With lai^e-lirab'd visions. More 1 scrutinized. 

Still fixt he sat beneatli the sable trees, 

Wliose arms spread straggling in wild serpent forms. 

With leaves all hush'd ; his awful presence there. 

Now all was silent, gave a deadly lie 

To what 1 erewhile heard : only his lips 

Trembltrf •miJ '.hc ivliifi- .::i-'.'. rjf hi': l-oird ; 

They told the truth, though round the snowy locks 

Htuig nobly, as upon the face of heaven 

A mid-day fleece of clouds. Thca arose. 

And stretcht her white arm through the hoUow dark, 

Pointing some whither : whereat he too rose, 

Ijke a vast giant, seen by men at sea 

To grow pale from the waves at dull midnight. 

They melted from my sight into the woods ; 

Ere I could turn, Moneta cried, " These twain 

Are speeding to the families of grief. 

Where rooft in by black rocks, they waste id pain 

And darkness, for no hope." And she spake on. 

As ye may read who can unwearied pass 

Onward from the antechamber of this dream, 

Where, even at the open doors, awhile 

I miut delay, and glean my memory 

Of her high phrase— perhaps no further dare. 



CAmv u 

" 1V/T 0^''^^ ^* ^°'* mayst understand aright, 

XVJ. I hununue my sayings to thine ear, 
Making comparisons of eardily things ; 
Or thou mightst better listen to the wind. 
Whose language is to thee a barren noise. 
Though it blows t^end-laden thro' the trees. 
In melancholy realms big tears are shed. 
More sorrow like to this, and such like woe. 
Too huge for mortal tongue or pen of scribe. 
The Titans fierce, self-hid or prison-bound. 
Groan for the old allegiance once more. 
Listening !□ their doom for Saturn's voice. 
But one of the whole eagle-brood still keeps 
His sovereignty, and rule, and majesty : 
Blazing Hyperion on his orbed fire 
Still sits, still snufTs the incense teeming up 
From Man to the Sun's God — yet insecure. 
For as upon the earth dire prodigies 
Fright and perplex, so also shudders he; 
Mot at dog's howl or gloom-bird's hated saeech. 
Or the familiar visiting of one 
Upon the first toll of his passing bell. 
Or prophesyings of the midnight lamp ; 
But horrors, portion'd to a giant nerve, 
Make great Hyperion ache. His palace bright, 
Bastion'd with pyramids of shining gold. 
And touch'd with shade of bronzed obelisks. 
Glares a blood-rcd thro' all the thousand courts. 



THE FIRST VERSION OF HYPERION 

Arches, and domes, and fiery galleries ; 

And all its curt^ns of Aurorean clouds 

Flash angerly ; when he would taste the wreaths 

Of incense breathed aloft &om sacred hills 

Instead of sweets, his ample palate takes 

Savour of poisonous brass and metals sidi ; 

Wherefore when harbour'd in the sleepy West, 

After the full completion of fair day. 

For rest divine upon exalted couch. 

And slumber in the arms of melody. 

He paces through tbe pleasant hours of ease, 

Wdi strides colossal, on from hall to hall, 

While Ear within each aisle and deep recess 

His winged minions in dose clusters stand 

Amaied, and full of fear ; like anxious men. 

Who on a wide plain gather in sad troops. 

When earthquakes jar their battlements and towers. 

Even now where Satum, roused fi^m icy trance, 

Goes step for step with Thea boni yon woods, 

Hyperion, leaving twilight in the rear, 

Is ^ofring to the threshold of the West. 

Thither we tend." Now in dear Ught I stood. 

Relieved from the dusk vale. Mnemosyne 

Was sitting on a square-edged polish'd stone, 

That in its lucid depth reflected pure 

Her priestess' garments. My quick eyes ran on 

From stately nave to nave, from vault to vault, 

Through bowers of &agraitt and enwreathed light. 

And diamood-paned lustrous long arcades. 

AnOD rusb'd by the blight Hyperion ; 

His flaming robes stream'd out beyond his heds. 

And gave a roar as if of earthy fire. 

That scared away the meek ediereal hours. 

And made their dove-wings tremble. On he flared. 



TO FAKNY 

PHYSICIAN Mature I let my spirit blood t 
O ease my heart of verse and let me rest ; 
Throw me upon thy Tripod, till the flood 
Of stifling numben ebbs from my full breast. 
A tbeme 1 a theme I great nature ! give a theme ; 

Let me begin my dream. 
I come — I see thee, as thou standest there ; 
Beckon me not into the wintry air. 

Ah 1 dearest love, sweet home of all my fears. 
And hopes, and joys, and panting miseries, — 
To-night, if I may guess, thy beauty wears 

A smile of such delight, 

As brilliant and as bright, 
As when with ravish'd, aching, vassal eyes, 

Lost in soft amaie, 
I gaze, 1 gaze I 

Who now, with greedy looks, eats op my feast ? 
What stare outlaces now my silver moon } 
Ah ! keep that hand unravish'd at the least ; 

Let, let, the amorous bnm— 

But, pr'ythee, do not turn 
The current of your heart from me so soon. 

I save, in charity, 

The quickest pulse for me. 




TO FANNY i 

Save it for me, sweet love 1 though music breathe 

Voluptuous visions into the wann air, 

Though swimming through the iHance's dangerous wreath ; 

Be like an April day. 

Smiling and cold and gay, 
A temperate lily, temperate as fair ; 

Then, Heaven 1 there will be 

A warmer June for me. 

Why, this — you'll say, my Fanny I is not true : 

Put your soft hand upon your snowy side. 

Where the heart beats : confess — 'tis nottung new- 
Must not a woman be 
A feather on the sea, 

Sway'd to and fro by every wind and tide ? 
Of as uncertain speed 
As blow-ball from the mead ? 

I know it — and to know it b despair 

To one who loves you as I love, sweet Faimy I 

Whose heart goes fluttering for you every where, 

Nor, when away you roam, 

Dare keep its wretched home : 
Love, love alone, has pains severe and many ; 

Then, loveliest I keep me free 

From tormring jealousy. 

Ah 1 if you prize my subdued soul above 
The poor, the fading, brief pride of an hour ; 
Let none profane my Holy See of love, 

Or with a rude hand break 

The sacramental cake : 
Let none else touch the just new-budded flower ; 

If not — may my eyes close. 

Love ! on their last repose. 



W" 



TO * * * * 

7HAT can I do to drive away 

Remembrance from my eyes ? for they have x 
Ay, an hour ago, my brilliant Qjjeen ! 
Touch has a memory. O say, love, say. 
What can I do to kill it and be free 
In my old libera ? 

When evciy fair one that 1 saw was fair 
Eiusugh to catch me in but half a snaie, 
Not keep me there : 

When, howe'er poor or paiticoloui'd things. 
My muse had wings. 
And ever leady was to take her course 
Whither I bent her fon:e, ; 
Unintellectual, yet divine to me ; — 
Irvine, I say I — What sea-bird o'er the sea 
Is a philosopher the while he goes 
Winging along where the great water throes? 

How shall I do 

To get anew 

Those moulted feathers, and so mount once more 

Above, above 

The reach of fluttering Love, 

And make him cower lowly while I soar ? 

Shall I gulp wine 7 No, that is vtilgarism, 

A heresy and schism, 

Foisted into the canon law of love ; — 

No,— wine is only sweet to happy men ; 



ro ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ 329 

More dismal cares 

Seize on me unawares, — 

Where shall I learn to get my peace again ? 

To banish thoughts of that most hateful land, 

Dungeoner of my friends, that wicked strand 

Where they were wrecked and live a wrecked life ; 

That monstrous region, whose dull rivers pour, 

Ever from their sordid urns unto the shore, 

Unown'd of any weedy-haired gods ; 

Whose winds, all zeph3rrless, hold scourging rods, 

Iced in the great lakes, to afflict mankind ; 

Whose rank-grown forests, frosted, black, and blind. 

Would fright a Dryad ; whose harsh herbaged meads 

Make lean and lank the starved ox while he feeds ; 

There bad flowers have no scent, birds no sweet song. 

And great unerring Nature once seems wrong. 

O, for some sunny spell 

To dissipate the shadows of this hell 1 

Say they are gone, — with the new dawning light 

Steps forth my lady bright 1 

O, let me once more rest 

My soul upon that dazzling breast 1 

Let once again these aching arms be placed. 

The tender gaolers of thy waist 1 

And let me feel that warm breath here and there 

To spread a rapture in my very hair, — 

O, the sweemess of the pain 1 

Give me those lips again 1 

Enough 1 Enough 1 it is enough for me 

To dream of thee 1 



SONNETS 



SPENSER I a jealous honourer of thine, 
A forester deep in thy tnidmost trees. 
Did, last eve, ask my promise to refine 

Some En^ish, ilut might strive thine ear to plea 
But, Elfin-poet 1 'tis impossible 

For an inhabitant of wintry earth 
To rise, like Phcebus, with a golden quill, 

Fire-wing'd, and make a morning in his mirth- 
It is impossible to 'scape from toil 

O' the sudden, and receive thy 9]:ttiiting : 
The flower must drink the nature of the soil 

Before it can put forth its blossoming : 
Be with me in the summer days and I 
Will for thine honour and his pleasure 117. 



OH I how I love, on a fair summer's eve. 
When stfeams of light poui down the golden ' 
And on the balmy zephyrs tranquil rest 
The nlver clouds, far — far away to leave 
All meaner thoughts, and take a sweet reprieve 
From little cares; to find, with easy quest, 
A fragrant wild, with Nature's beauty drest, 
And there into delight my soul deceive. 
There warm my breast with patriotic lore, 
Musing on Milton's fate — on Sydney's bier — 
Till their stem forms before my mind arise : 
Perhaps on wing of Poesy upsoar. 
Full often droppnng a delicious tear. 
When some melodious sorrow spells mine eyes. 



^O A YOUNG LADY WHO SENT ME A LAUREL CROim 

FRESH morning gusts have blown away all fear 
From my glad bosom, — now from gloominess 

I mount for ever— not an atom less 
Than the proud laurel shall content my bier. 
No I by the eternal stars I or why sit here 

In the Sun's eye, and 'gainst my temples press 

Apollo's very leaves, woven to bless 
By thy white tinget? and thy spirit clear. 
Lo I who dares say, " Do this ? " Who dares call down 

My will from its high purpose ? Who say, " Stand," 
Or " Go ? " This mighty moment I would firown 

On abject Gesars — not the stoutest band 
Of mailed heroes should tear off my crown : 

Yet would I kneel and Itiss thy gentle hand I 



POSTHUMOUS POEMS 



AFTER dark vapours have oppress'd our plaim 
For a long dreary season, comes a day 

Bom of the gentle South, and dears away 
From the sick heavens all unseemly stains. 
The anxious mouth, relieved from its pains. 

Takes as a long lost right the fed of May, 

The eyelids with the passirig coobess play. 
Like rose leaves with the drip of summer rains. 
And calmest thoughts come round us — as, of leaves 

Budding, — fruit ripening in stillness, — autumn SUtIS 
Smiling at eve upon the quiet sheaves,— 
Sweet Sappho's cheek, —a sleeping infant's breath, — 

The gradual sand that through an hour-glass runs,— 
A woodland rivulet, — a Poet's death. 



mtlTIEU ON THE BLANK SPACE OF A LEAF AT THE 

END OF CHAUCEKS TALE OF " THE FLOIVKE AND 

THE LEFE " 

THIS pleasant tale is like a little copse : 
The honey'd lines so freshly interlace. 

To keep the reader in so sweet a place. 
So that he here and there full-hearted Stops ; 
And oftentimes he feds the dewy drops 

Come cool and suddeijy against his tiee, 

And, by the wandering melody, may trace 
Which way the tender-legged linnet hops. 
Oh I what a power has white simplicity I 

What mighty power has this gentle sioiy I 

I, that do ever feel athirst for glory. 
Could at this moment be content to lie 

Meekly upon the grass, as those whose sobbings 

Were heard of none beside the mournful robins. 



ON LEIGH HUltT'S POEM, " THE STORY OF 
RIMINI" 

WHO loves to peer up at the moming sud, 
With half-shut eyes and comfortable cheek, 

Let him, with this sweet tale, full ofieD seek 
For meadows where the little rivers run ; 
Who loves to linger with that brightest one 

Of Heaven — Hesperus — let him lowly speak 

These numbers to the night, and starlight meek, 
Or moon, if that her hunting be begun. 
He who knows these delights, and too b prone 

To moralise upon a smile or tear. 
Will find at once a region of his owe, 

A bower for his spirit, and will steer 
To alleys, where the fir-tree drops its cone. 

Where robins hop, aod fallen leaves are sear. 



ON SEEING THE ELGIN MARBLES 

MY spirit is too weak ; mortality 
Weighs heavily on me Uke unwilling sleep, 

And each imagined pmnacle and steep 
Of godlike hardship tells me I must die 
Like a sick eagle looking at the sky. 

Yet 'tis a gentle luxury to weep. 

That I have not the cloudy winds to keep 
Fresh for the opening of the morning's eye. 
Si»:b dim-concrived glories of the brain 

Bring round the heart an indescribable feud -, 
So do these wonders a most dizzy pain, 

That nungles Grecian gtandeur with the rude 
Wasting of old Hme — ^ih a billowy main 

A sun, a shadow of a magnitude. 



334 POSTHUMOUS POEMS 



TO HAYDON 

{WITH THE PRECEDING) 

HAYDON I forgive me that I cannot speak 
Definitively of these mighty things ; 

Forgive me, that I have not eagle's wings, 
That what I want I know not where to seek. 
And think that I would not be over-meek. 

In rolling out upfoUow'd thunderings, 

Even to the steep of Heliconian springs. 
Were I of ample strength for such a freak. 
Think, too, that all these numbers should be thine ; 

Whose else ? In this who touch thy vesture's hem ? 
For, when men stared at what was most divine 

With brainless idiotism and o'erwise phlegm, 
Thou hadst beheld the full Hesperian shine 

Of their star in the east, and gone to worship them 1 



ON A PICTURE OF LEANDER 

COME hither, all sweet maidens soberly, 
Down-looking aye, and with a chasten'd light 

Hid in the fringes of your eyelids white. 
And meekly let your fair hands joined be. 
As if so gentle that ye could not see, 

Untouch'd, a victim of your beauty bright, 

Sinking away to his young spirit's night, 
Sinking bewilder'd 'mid the dreary sea : 
'TIS young Leander toiling to his death ; 

Nigh swooning, he doth purse his weary lips 
For Hero's cheek, and smiles against her smile. 

O horrid dream I see how his body dips. 
Dead-heavy ; arms and shoulders gleam awhile : 
He's gone ; up bubbles all his amorous breath 1 



ON THE SEd 

IT keeps etenul whisperings aronad 
Desolate shores, aad with its mighty swell 

Gluts twice teo thousand uvems, till the spell 
Of Hecate leaves them their old shadowy sound. 
Often 'tis in such gentle temper found. 

That scarcely will the very smallest shell 

Be moved for days from where it sometime fell, 
When last the winds of heaven were unbound . 
Oh ye 1 who have your eye-balls vex'd and tired. 

Feast them upon the wideness of the Sea ; 
Oh ye 1 whose ears are dian'd with uproar rade. 

Or fed too much with cloying melody, — 
Sit ye near some old cavern's mouth, and brood 
Until ye start, as if the sea-nymphs quired I 



THE HUMAN SEASONS 



He has his lusty Spring, whea fancy cleai 

Takes m all beauty with an easy span : 
He has his Summer, when luxuriously 

Spring's hone/d cud of youthful thought be loves 
To nuiuDate, and by such dreaming high 

Is nearest unto Heaven : quiet coves 
His soul has in its Autumn, when his wings 

He fiirleth close ; contented so to look 
On mists in idleness — to let fair things 

Pass by unheeded as a threshold brook. 
He has his Winter too of pale misfeature, 
Or else he would forego his mortal oature. 



POSTHUMOUS POEMS 



ON SITTING DOWN TO READ "KING LEAR" 
ONCE AGAIN 

OGOLDEN-TONGUED Ronunce with sennc lutt I 
Fail plumed Siren I Qtieen 1 if Ear a.wty I 

Leave melodizing on this wintry day, 
Shut up thine olden volume, and be mute. 
Adieu I for once again the fierce dispute. 

Betwixt Hell torment and impassiou'd day, 

Must I bum through ; once more assay 
The bitter sweet of this Shakespeatian fruit. 
Chief Poet I and ye douds of Albion, 

Begetteis of our deep eternal theme. 
When I am through the old oak forest gone, 

Let me not wander in a barren dream. 
But when I am consumed with the Fire, 
Give me new PhisDix-wings to fly at my desire. 



WHEN I have fears that I may cease to be 
Before my pen has glean'd my teeming brain 
Before high-piled books, in charact'ry. 

Hold like ricb gamers the full-ripeo'd grain ; 
When I behold, upon the night's starr'd tact. 

Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance. 
And think that I may never live to trace 

Thdr shadows, with the magic hand of chance ; 
And when J fed, fair creature of an hour I 

That I shall never look upon thee more. 
Never have rdish in the faery power 

Of unreflecting love !— then on the shore 
Of the wide world I stand alone, and think, 
Tdl Love and Fame to nothingness do sink. 



SONNETS 357 

ANSWER TO A SONNET BY /. H. REYNOLDS, 

ENDING— 

** Dark eyes are dearer far 
Than tbou that mock the hyacinthme bell *' 

BLUE ! 'Tis the life of heaven,— the domain 
Of Cynthia, — the wide palace of the sun, — 
The tent of Hesperus, and all hb train, — 

The bosomer of clouds, gold, grey, and dun. 
Blue 1 'Tis the life of waters — ocean 

And all its vassal streams : pools numberless 
May rage, and foam, and fret, but never can 

Subside, if not to dark-blue nativeness. 
Blue 1 Gentle cousin of the forest-green, 

Married to green in all the sweetest flowers- 
Forget-me-not, — the blue-bell,— and, that queen 

Of secrecy, the violet : what strange powers 
Hast thou, as a mere shadow 1 But how great, 
When in an Eye thou art alive with £ate 1 

TO THE NILE 

SON of the old moon-mountains African I 
Stream of the Pyramid and Crocodile 1 

We call thee fruitfril, and that very while 
A desert fills our seeing's inward span : 
Nurse of swart nations since the world began. 

Art thou so fruitfrd ? or dost thou beguile 

Those men to honour thee, who, worn with toil, 
Rest them a space 'twixt Cairo and Decan ? 
O nuy dark fancies err 1 They surely do ; 

Tis ignorance that makes a barren waste 
Of all beyond itself. Thou dost bedew 

Green rushes like our rivers^ and dost taste 
The pleasant sun-rise. Green isles hast thou too. 

And to the sea as happily dost haste. 

1 



POSTHUMOUS POEMS 



TO HOMER 



STANDING aloof in giant ignorance, 
Of thee I hear and of the Cydades, 
As one who sits ashore and longs peichance 

To visit dolphin-coral to deep seas. 
So thou wast blind I— but then the veil was rent. 

For Jove uncurtain'd Heaven to let thee live. 
And Neptune made for thee a speimy tent. 

And Pan Diade »ng for thee his forest-hive ; 
Ay, on the shores of dailmess there is light. 

And precipices show untrodden green ; 
There is z budding morrow in midnight -, 

There is a triple sight in bUndness keen ; 
Such seeing hadst thou, as it once befel 
To Dian, Queen of Earth, and Heaven, and Hell 



HTdTTEN IN BURNS- COTTAGE 

THIS monal body of a thousand days 
Now fills, O Bums, a space in diine own room. 
Where thou didst dream alone on budded bays, 

Happy and thoughtless of thy day of doom I 
My pulse is warm widi thine own Barley-biee, 

My head is light with pledging a great soul. 
My eyes are wandering, and I cannot see, 

Fancy is dead and drunken at its goal ; 
Yet can I stamp my foot upon thy floor, 

Yet can I ope thy window-^sh to find 
The meadow thou hast tramped o'er and o'er, — 

Yet can I think of thee till thought is blind, — 
Yet can 1 gulp a bumper to thy name, — 
O smile among the shades, for this is time t 



SONNET ON AUSA ROCK 

HEARKEN, tbou craggy ocean-pyranud, 
Give answer by thy voice — the lea-fowls' scremu 1 
When were thy shoulders mantkd in huge streams ? 
When from the sun was thy broad forehead hid ? 
How long is't since the mighty Power bid 
Thee heave to airy sleep from fathom dreams- 
Sleep in the lap of thunder or sunbeams — 
Or when gray clouds are thy cold coverlid ? 
Thou answer's! not ; for thou an dead asleep. 

Thy life is but two dead eieraities, 
The last in air, the former in the deep I 

First with the whales, last with the eaj^e-skies I 
Drowa'd wast thou till an earthquake made thee steep. 
Another caimot wake thy giant-size I 



BEN NEVIS 

READ me a lesson, Muse, and speaik it loud 
Upon the top (^ Nevis, blind in mist I 
I look into the chasms, and a shroud 

Vaporous doth hide them,— just so much I wist 
Mankind do know of hell -, I look o'erbead. 

And there is sullen mist, — even so much 
Mankind can tell of heaven ; mist is spread 

Before the earth, beneath me, — even such. 
Even SO vague is man's sight of himself I 

Here are the craggy stones beneath niy fiset, — 
Thus mnch I know that, a poor witless elf, 

I tread on them, — that all my eye doth meet 
b mist and crag, not only on this height, 
But in the world of thought and menul mi^t 1 






POSTHUMOUS POEMS 



TO J. H. REYNOLDS 

OTHAT a week could be an age, and we 
Felt parting and warm meetiug every week, 
Then one poor year a thousand years would be. 

The flu^ of welcome ever oa the cheek : 
So could we live long life in little space. 

So time itself would be aimihilate, 
So a day's journey in oblivious haze 
yo serve our joys would lengthen and dilate. 

arrive each Monday mom from Ind 1 
To land each Tuesday from the rich Levant I 
In little time a host of joys to bind, 

And keep our souls in one eternal pant 1 
This mom, roy friend, and yester-evening taught 
Me how to harbour such a happy thought. 



TO " • * * 

TIME'S sea hath been live years at its slow ebb ; 
Long hours have to and fro let creep the sand ; 
Since I was tangled in thy beauty's web. 

And snared by the ungloving of thine hand. 
And yet I never look on midnight sky, 

But I behold thine eyes' well memoried light ; 
I cannot look upon the rose's dye, 

But to thy cheek my soul doth take its flight ; 
I cannot look on any budding flower. 

But my fond ear, in iancy at thy lips, 
And hearkening for a love-sound, doth devour 

Its sweets in the wrong sense : — Thou dost eclipse 
Every delight with sweet renumbering, 
And grief unto my darling joys dost bring. 



TO SLEEP 

OSOFT embalmer of the still midnight I 
Shutting, with careful fingers and benign, 
Oar gloom-pleased eyes, embower'd from the Ught, 

Ensbaded in forgetfulness divine ; 
O sooihest Sleep I if so h please thee, dose. 

In midst of this thine hymn, my willing eyes. 
Or wait the amen, ete thy poppy throws 

Around my bed its lulling charities ; 

Then save me, or the passed day vaiil shine 
Upon my piUow, breeding many woes ; 

Save me from curious consdeace, that still lords 
Its strength, for darkness buTTOwing lilie a mole ; 

Turn the key deftly in the oiled wards, 
And seal the bushed casket of my soul. 



ON FAME ^ 

FAME, like a wayward ^rl, will still be coy 
To those who woo her with too slavish knees. 
But makes surrender to some thoughtless boy, 
And dotes the more upon a heart at ease ; 

Sht b a Gipsy,— will not speak to those 

Who have not learnt to be content without her ; 
A Jilt, whose ear was never whisper'd close. 

Who thmks they scandal ber who talk about her ; 
A very Gipsy is she, Nilus-bom, 

Sister-in-law to jealous Potiphar ; 
Ye love-sict Bards T repay ber scorn for scorn_; 

Ye Artists lovelorn ! madmen that ye are 1 
Make your best liow to ber and bid adieu, 
Then, if she likes it, she will follow you. 



POSTHUMOUS POEMS 



ON FAME 

HOW fever'd is the man, who cancot Io<^ 
Upon his mOTtal days with temperate blood, 
Who votes all the leaves of his life's book. 

And robs his fair name of its maidenhood ; 
It is as if the rose should pluck herself, 

Or the ripe plum finger its misty bloom. 
As if a Naiad, like a meddling elf. 

Should darken her pure grot with muddy gloom : 
But the rose leaves herself upon the briar. 

For winds to kiss and gratefiil bees to feed, 
And the ripe plum still wears its dim attire, 
The undisturbed late has crystal spiux ; 
Why then should man, leasing the woild for grace. 

Spoil his salvation for a &erce miscreed ? 



w 



rHY didltaughto-ni^t? No voice will tcQ : 
No God, no Demon of severe response. 
Deigns to reply firom Heaven or from Hell. 

Then to my hunian hean I turn at once. 
Heart I Thou aod I are here, sad and alone ; 

1 say, why did I laugh ? O mortal pain I 
O Darkness I Darkness I ever must I moan, 

To questitHi Heaven and Hell and Heart in vaio. 
Why did I laugh ? I know this Being's lease. 

My fancy to its utmost blisses spreads *, 
Yet would I on this very midnight cease, 

And the world's gaudy en»gns see in shieds ; 
Verse, Fame, aiMl Beauty are intense indeed, 
But Ekath intenser — Death is Life's high meed. 



A' 



ON A DREAM 
Afitrnading Iht Fifth Canto of DatO^t "Inferno" 
S Hermes odcc took to his feathers light, 



When lulled Aigus, baEQed, swooo'd and slept. 
So on a Delphic reed, my idle spright. 

So play'd, so chann'd, so conquer'd, so bereft 
The dragon-world of all its hundred eyes, 

And seeing it asleep, so fled away. 
Not to pure Ida with its snow-cold sides, 

Nor unto Tempe, where Jove grieved a day, 
But to that second drde of sad Hell, 

Where in the gust, the whirlwind, and the flaw 
Of rain and hail-stoaes, lovers need not tell 

Their sorrows,— pale were the sweet lips I saw, 
Pale were the lips I kiss'd, and (air the form 
I floated with, about that melancholy storm. 



IF by dun rt^mes our English must be chain'd. 
And, lite Andromeda, the Sonnet sweet 
Fetter'd, in spite of pained loveliness ; 
Let us find out, if we must be constrain'd. 

Sandals more interwoven and comj^ete 
To fit the naked foot of poesy ; 
Let us inspea the lyre, and weigh the stress 
Of every chord, and see what may be gain'd 

By ear industrious, and attention meet ; 
Misers of sound and syllable, no less 
Than Midas of his coinage, let us be 

Jealous of dead leaves in the bay wreath crown ; 
So, if we may not let the Muse be free. 

She will be bound with garlands of her own. 



POSTHUMOUS POEMS 



THE day b gone, and all its sweets are gone I 
Sweet voice, sweei lips, soft hand, and softer brenst, 
Warm breath, light whisper, tender semi-tone. 

Blight eyes, accomplish'd shape, and lang'rous waist I 
Faded the flower and all its budded charms. 

Faded the sight of beauty from my eyes, 
Faded the shape of beauty from my arms. 

Faded the voice, warmth, whiteness, paradise — 
Vanish'd unseasonably at shut of eve. 

When the dusk holiday — or hoUnight 
Of fragrant-curtain'd love begins to weave 

The woof of darkness thick, for hid delight ; ^ 

But, as I've read love's missal through to-day. 
He'll let me sleep, seeing I fast and pray. 



1CRY your mercy — [rfty— love I— ay, love I 
Merciful love that tantalises not, 
One-thoughted, never-wandering, guileless love, 

Unmask'd, and being seen — without a blot I 
01 let me have thee whole,— all— all — be mine I 

That shape, that fairtiess, that sweet minor icst 
Of love, your kiss,— those hands, those eyes divine, 

Hiat warm, white, lucent, million-pleasured breast, — 
Yourself— your soul — in pity give me all, 

VTitbhold no atom's atom or I die, 
Or living on, perhaps, your wretched thrall. 

Forget, in the mist of idle misery. 
Life's purposes,— the palate of my mind 
Lontig its gust, and my ambition blind I 




HIS LAST SONNET 

BRIGHT sur 1 would I were steadfast as thou an— 
Not in !one splendour hung aloft the night, 
And watching, with eteinal lids apart. 

Like Nature's patient, sleepless Eremite, 
The moving waters at their priestiike task 

Of pure abltition rouod earth's human shores, 
Or gazing on the new soft fallen mask 

Of snow upoD the mountains and the moors — 
No — yet still steadfast, still unchangeable, 

Piilow'd upon my lair love's ripening breast. 
To feel for ever its soft fall and swell, 

Awake for ever in a sweet unrest, 
Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath. 
And so live ever— or else swoon to death. 



INDEX OF FIRST LINES 

Afllr iarli vafeurt hmi eppnu'd ««r pUtiat jja 

AilaUlTianbbdUitbtbapp}fi^ 44 

Ai Htrma Duet bak to bii fialhen ligbl J4J 

A Ibing of itauty ii a Jaj fur ntr 66 

Bardt 1^ PasiioK and <f IGrlb ■ . . 34} 

Sbul 'Tit ihtUfiafbtmMi,—lht domain JJ7 

Britit liar I mmild I vitrt steadfail V tbm arl J4S 

CbUftf u-ganic nianitrs iSo 

Came bilbtr, oil luiof ■undnu tailrlf 3}4 

Ctar Hffmildi I as lail tiigbt liaymhd . . . aS) 

DitpmtbtibadjadiuaifavaU 3ft 

Sotr Itt tbt FoKcj nam a^ 

Fair litthd, pcor limpb Isabel 20i 

Fame, like a wayward girl, will still btcaj }4t 

Faiaties bavt tboT dreams, vibenwitb tbt} vieaat }ta 

Four Staam fill Ibemtasare of tbt year ...... sSt 

Reib nionang gusts bavt ilaam asuay all fear }}t 

Full many a dreary bour bavt I pail }} 

Give nit a golditt pea, and let toe lean 48 

Good Kosdusio, Iby great name alone ;o 

Great spirits uau on larib are lefoaming . . . ■ . . 4f 

Had I a num's fair firm, tben migbt my tigbi 4J 

Haditlbou lived in days efeU 33 

Happy is England I I could be anient jo 

Host tboufrom tbe cana (fGoiamda, a gem 30 

Haydon I firgiiie me tbal I cannel sptab J)4 

Hiarktn, tbov trtggy ecean-pyramid Jjg 



J48 INDEX OF FIRST LINES 

Tog, 

Hen all tin timmer amid I itay 3^7 

Higbninitdiiai, a jaloasy for good 48 

How ftvet'd is Ibi HUM, vihacmiKthok J43 

Haai many iardt gild tht \afta of limi 44 

I nj your mtny—pily—lovt l—iiy. hm 344 

If by dull rbyimt Bar Engliib must be cbain'd J4} 

In a drtar-Higbltd Decemhtr apf 

I ilaod up-lee u/on a lillU bill - j 

It taps tlcritai vibiiperitigi around /jf 

Ktm, fitful guitt an wbispering bere and Ibm ^ 

Lot ImusHillaleUofcbivBlry • H 

Uaay Ibt vxmdirs I Ibii day bavt urn 4a 

J^tbtr of Htrma I and itiU youlbfal ^faia 390 

Mucb bave I IrmrlTd in tbt rialms of gold 4J 

Mj bfatt ocba, and a dmuisy RuniiHii pains ajt 

Uy ipirii is too wtalt ; tnorlality /jj 

No, BO, go Hot to Letbt, ntilber twist 3J0 

No I tbosi days art goni aaay a^ 

Not Aladdin magian apf 

Noa Morning from jbcr oriad cbambtr canu t6 

Nynpb of Ibi iaanttoard smile and sidelong glanet . . . • 4; 

Oft bave you uen a stMa superbly freuming •. }S 

O Goddess I bear these tuneless numbers, wrtitig ayj 

O golden-limgved Upmanee tuitb strau lutt ; j j 

Ob I bow I love, on a fair summer's ni jji 

Old Mfg she was a gipsy . • tfi 

Oni mom before me were tbrte figures seen jof 

O lofl embalmer of Ibe still midnigbl j^I 

O Solitude 1 if I must luitbtbee dwell 4f 

tbal a week could be an age, and we {40 

Otboul whotefaeebatb fill Ibeiy inter" su/ind a!l 

1 were I one of tbe Olympian twelve jol 

O ii'bal eon ail Ibee, knigbt-^'orms •.,■.,, foj 

Pbysieian Nature I let my spirit blood jiS 

Tlfad me a lenon, Muse, and sptak it loud }}f 




INDEX OF FIRST LINES 349 

Pagi 

Staum ef mlits <md mdUxii fruilftdnat 24S 

Sbtd na tar I O, sbtd ta Uar joo 

Smail, buiy fiama play Ibrougb Ibi fiah laid coals . ... 46 

Smof the old mam-mimnlaiHi African }JJ 

Seuli of Poeli dead and gone 34§ 

Spenser t a jealous borumrer of ibine ...,»,. jjo 

SI. Agnes' Eve— Ab, bitter cbUlii was aij 

Standing aloof in giant ignoranu jjg 

Sweet are the pleasures that to verse belong jO 

Tbe day is gone, and alt Hi tvitets art gotu j^ 

Tbere is a cbartn in footing slouj across a silent plain .... 3^J 

Tbe poelry of eartb is never dead 4^ 

Tbininotefit,iweetone,ti> ijg 

Tbii mortal body of a thousand days ..--... fjg 

This pleasant talt is Hit a little copse ^^3 

Thoa itiU unraiisb'd bride of quietness ijf 

Tim^s sta balb been Jlw years at itt slaw ebb j^ 

'Tis Ibe witching bour of nigbt 2^J 

To one vibo has been long in city pent ^7 

Vpon a Sabbatb-iay it fill jo3 

Upon a time, before tbe faery bmodi iSr 

What can I do to drive away jaS 

Wbal is more gentle than a aind in summer ji 

What the agb, for showing truth to Jlatier'd state ■ . . . 4} 

Vhat though, while tbe wonders of nature cxplari'ig ■ ... 19 

Ifrben by my solitory biarth I sit 3^ 

(Cbfll ; haveffari that I may cease !.^ be ^jg 

(There be you going, you Devon maid fg^ 

Who loves to peer up at tbe morning lun jj^ 

Why did I laugb lo-nighl } No voice will tell . . . .143 

Woman I when I behold Ibee flippant, vain 28 

Young Calidere is t«ddling if er tbe lake ,^ 



londok: 
pkiitTBD »y wiuJAM cuiwas ano sons, uhited, 

SUmftrd stmt mud Ckmnte Cnu. 



JtJ. 



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